News / Africa

UN Honors Senegalese Peacekeeper with Courage Medal

An undated reproduction photo shows Mbaye Diagne, a young Senegalese captain who saved the lives of people during the Rwanda genocide.
An undated reproduction photo shows Mbaye Diagne, a young Senegalese captain who saved the lives of people during the Rwanda genocide.
Margaret Besheer
The United Nations has created a medal to be awarded to U.N. peacekeepers and civilian staff demonstrating great courage. The medal is being named for an heroic Senegalese peacekeeper who died saving hundreds of lives during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Captain Mbaye Diagne distinguished himself during the dark days of Rwanda’s 1994 genocide in which Hutu extremists slaughtered some 800,000 people, mostly Tutsis, in just 100 days.

The 36-year-old captain, husband and father of two was an unarmed military observer in the U.N. mission in Rwanda.

Rwanda’s U.N. Ambassador Eugene Gasana said Thursday that in the face of evil, Captain Diagne refused to be a bystander.

“With no gun, no weapons, armed only with courage and a sense of responsibility, Captain Diagne decided to conduct several missions going through dozens of checkpoints held by armed militias to save hundreds - maybe thousands - of Rwandans during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi,” he said.

On May 31, 1994, Diagne’s work ended when a mortar round exploded at a checkpoint near his car. He was hit by shrapnel and died instantly.

The Rwandan genocide was also a dark period for the United Nations and the international community, which failed to forcefully intervene to stop the killing.

Jordan’s U.N. Ambassador Prince Zeid al-Hussein said the fact that no U.N. official at headquarters ever called the captain’s family after his death “can only be described as shameful.”

“I am absolutely sure everyone here would join me when I say we are sorry - profoundly sorry - for the way you have been treated by us here at the U.N,” he said.

The award, to be known as the “Captain Diagne Medal for Exceptional Courage” will be presented to U.N. military, police and civilian personnel who “demonstrate exceptional courage, in the face of extreme danger” while fulfilling the mandate of their mission in the service of the United Nations and humanity.

The medal was established in a resolution put forward by Jordan and adopted unanimously by the U.N. Security Council on Thursday.

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid