Saturday, February 17, 2007

Sixth Rwandan peacekeeper dies in Darfur

Salute. Feb 15 2007 The New Times (Kigali) article by James Munyaneza - via Feb 16:
Another Rwandan peacekeeping soldier in the troubled Sudanese western region of Darfur died on Manday morning, the military has said. The Military Spokesperson, Maj. Jill Rutaremara, told The New Times on Wednesday, that Private Cyprien Barakengera died of a suspected malaria attack. "The RDF (Rwanda Defence Forces) has already sent condolences to the family of the late comrade," Rutaremara said. He said arrangements are underway to bring the body back home. His body is currently at the mortuary in El-Fashir, the headquarters of the peace force.

Survived by a wife and three children, Barakengera, 28, has been attached to RDF 15th Battalion which is currently stationed in Zalinge (Sector Seven) in Darfur. The Battalion is under the command of Lt. Col. Jean Bosco Kananga.

The late soldier's family is in Rubavu District in the Western Province.

Rutaremara said that the deceased has been serving in the AU peacekeeping force in Darfur for over six months.

Barakengera is the sixth Rwandan soldier to die from the war-torn Darfur since the troops' deployment in August, 2004. On October 26 Corporal Gafishi Ntirenganya died when an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) he was traveling in overturned near Tawila.

Corporal David Niyonsaba was the first Rwanda soldier to die while on an AU mission. He died in a Darfur hospital on October 20, 2005 after sustaining fatal injuries in a road accident in El Fasher, north of Darfur.

He was followed by Lt. William Ntayomba, who is the most senior RDF soldier to die in Darfur. He died from electrocution.

And in August, 2006, two other RDF soldiers were killed in an ambush between El Fasher and El Nahud by one the Sudanese warring factions in Darfur.

Pte Barakengera's death came just two days before the government started the process of replacing all Rwandan troops and civilian police personnel from Darfur. Some of the troops being replaced have been in Darfur since February, 2006. The rotation involves 2040 RDF officers and men, and 49 civilian police personnel.
God bless all the peace makers.

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