Goma, April 4th, 2022 (CPA).-The Minister in charge of National Defense and Veterans Affairs, Gilbert Kabanda and that of Industry, Julien Paluku Kahongya, have been staying since Saturday in Goma, capital of the province of North Kivu, to represent the government at the ceremony of homage to the 8 blue helmets who died during the crash of their helicopter in the combat zone of Tshanzu in Rutshuru. “The Minister of Defense and I came to represent the government in Goma, at the ceremony of tribute to the eight (8) peacekeepers who died.
We have come to share our compassion with the United Nations family and those of the many innocent victims of human barbarism,” said Julien Paluku, who was in the delegation with some diplomats. At Goma International Airport, the government delegation was welcomed by the Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC), Army General Célestin Munsese Mbala, the Military Governor of North Kivu, Lieutenant General Constant Ndima Kongba and the head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in (MONUSCO), Bintou Keita.
After the military honours, the convoy headed to the Serena Hotel in Goma for a strategic meeting. The expertise of the former governor of North Kivu, Julien Paluku Kahongya in the management of armed conflicts is put to use in the process of pacification of North Kivu. And during the Council of Ministers last Friday, the government of the DRC offered its condolences to the great family of the United Nations, to the governments concerned and to the families of these eight peacekeepers who died on Tuesday, following the attack on the M23. The eight blue helmets of MONUSCO, it is recalled, were on board a Puma helicopter which crashed during a search and rescue operation launched by MONUSCO.
The helicopter was on a reconnaissance mission in the Tshanzu area, where clashes have taken place in recent days, between the M23 and the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC). Six Pakistani crew members and two other soldiers, one from Russia and the other from Serbia were on board. An investigation is underway, announces the boss of the UN. ACP/