The United Nations Secretary General attends Memorial Parade of United Nations Peacekeepers in North Kivu, Eastern Part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Article and Pictures provided by: Captain H.D. Fiellies Public Information Officer RSABATT

The United Nations Secretary General (SG) Mr Antonio Guterres, the Special Representative to the Secretary General Ms Leila Zerrougui and the Governor of North Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Mr Carly Nzanzu Kasivita attended a memorial parade held by the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) to pay tribute to the UN peacekeepers who gave their lives serving the people of DRC. The delegation received a briefing from the Heads of Services from the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission (MONUSCO) in North Kivu, Eastern part of the DRC.

This aim of the visit was to attend a Memorial parade of the 27 UN peacekeepers that lost their lives during deployment to DRC. On arrival in Mavivi Airport in the North Kivu, Eastern part of DRC, the SG was welcomed with a Guard of honour consisting of platoons from RSA Battalion, Tanzania Battalion, Malawi Battalion as well as Uruguay battalion and Indian battalion. The parade was inspected by the SG before making his way to the memorial parade at Tanzania base in Mavivi.

The SG laid a wreath at the monument during the memorial parade before giving his speech to all the delegates and members from different bases that were present. The SG greeted everyone present in uniform as well as civilians. The SG started by saying: “Today is the day that soldiers are being honoured who gave their lives while serving under the flag of the United Nations while in the DRC. United Nations will never forget the tragic accidents that took place during the Simulike attack in 2017, as well as the Usalama centre operation which were dark chapters for MONUSCO and MONUSCO, has demonstrated that it rises throughout these difficult times”.

The SG also mentioned that violence against women and children is still a challenge with regards to their basic human rights. The SG said that MONUSCO should take pride in the contributions towards these positive developments for all the losses we have suffered as well as the sacrifices that were made. The SG said it is important for the people of Beni to know that their cries of distress have been heard. The United Nations as a whole is committed to supporting the Congolese authorities, local communities and civil societies in the fight against insecurities and may we carry on in their spirit as we strive to help the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The SG was ushered to Kilimanjaro conference room for a briefing by the Head of Office (MONUSCO) Mr Omar Aboud and the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) Commander, Brig Gen Patrick Njabulo Dube on the overall political challenges as well as Military operations in the Area of Responsibility.