DR Congo, UN mission pay last tribute to fallen peacekeepers

19:11, August 20, 2010      

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The Democratic Republic of Congo and the UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African country on Thursday paid last tribute to the three fallen Indian soldiers killed in a rebel attack the previous day.

A ceremony was held at the international airport of Goma, the capital of the eastern province of North Kivu, to pay last respect to the peacekeepers before their bodies were flown back to India.

Local military and civilian representatives and officials of the UN mission MONUSCO were present at the ceremony to bid farewell to sergeant Omkar Sinhg, corporal Parvinder Sinhg and soldier Suraj Bhagwan.

The three Indian peacekeepers were slain in an attack on Wednesday morning on their camp at Kirumba, 190 km north of Goma by 50 men armed with machetes. The attackers were linked to the Rwandan Hutu rebel group FDLR, which was held responsible for the 1994 Rwanda massacre and has been holed up in North Kivu bordering Rwanda ever since.

DR Congo and Rwanda launched joint military operations early last year, neutralizing most of the rebels. But the FDLR is still able to launch attacks in small groups.

Hiroute Gebre Sellasie, chief of the MONUSCO office in Goma, attended the ceremony in the name of the special representative of the UN secretary general, vowing to restore peace and stabilization in the region, which has been plagued by years of conflicts.

Provincial Governor Julien Paluku said a commission has been set up to investigate the Kirumba killing and bring perpetrators to justice. The military on Thursday said it had arrested two suspects involved in the attack.

The commander of the MONUSCO brigade in North Kivu, Gen. Ajae Kumar Sharma, condemned the "barbarity," saying the North Kivu brigade will remain "determined to continue the fight for peace, human dignity and the development of DR Congo."

Source: Xinhua


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