10 December 2017

Tanzania: Bodies of Slain Tanzanian Peacekeepers in DRC to Arrive On Tuesday or Wednesday

Photo: The Citizen
14 bodies of Tanzanian peacekeeper who were killed in the DR Congo arrived at Terminal 1 of the Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA).

Dar es Salaam — Tanzania People's Defence Forces (TPDF) has said the bodies of 14 soldiers killed during an attack in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will arrive either on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Addressing a press conference on Sunday, December 10, the TPDF chief of staff, Lt-Gen James Mwakibolwa, said the government and the United Nations were collaborating to return the bodies of the fallen soldiers.

"TPDF has communicated with the families of the slain soldiers. The government will take appropriate measures, including investigating the incident at the scene," he said, noting that the names of slain soldiers would be disclosed later.

Describing the incident that claimed 14 lives of TPDF peacekeepers, wounding 44 with two still missing, Lt-Gen Mwakibolwa said the fallen soldiers were killed during an attack by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).

"The attack, which was launched at their camp along River Simuke in Beni District in northern Kivu Province, took 13 hours to last, negatively impacting on TPDF," he said, adding: "However, the remaining peacekeepers in the mission are able to fulfill their responsibilities efficiently, bravely, professionally with the highest morale."

Lt-Gen Mwakibolwa said Tanzania wasn't demoralised by the attack, but was still motivated to fulfill its responsibilities efficiently.

According to TPDF, the December 8 incident was terrible to Tanzania's peacekeeping history, insisting that Tanzania was safe, secure and free from insecurity threats.

In his condolences to the bereaved families, TPDF and the government, UN secretary-general António Guterres described the attack as a war crime, directing the DRC authorities to investigate and bring the perpetrators to justice.

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