The United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, delivered an emotional speech on Friday, November 16, 2018, at a ceremony honoring Staff Sergeant Derrick Sichilyango of the Zambian contingent, who died as the result of a road accident that occurred while he was carrying out his official duties.
The ceremony was held at the Headquarters of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA)in Bangui. The MINUSCA Force Commander, General Balla Keïta, members of the senior leadership of the Mission, as well as other civilian, police and military personnel were in attendance.
The Special Representative expressed the United Nations’ solidarity with the Republic of Zambia and its battalion serving with MINUSCA. “It’s an immeasurable tragedy that Staff Sergeant Derrick lost his future. I salute and honor him for the work he has done to support this country, to represent Zambia with courage and honor, and to uphold the values and principles of the United Nations, ” he said.
“When we refer to our fallen peacekeepers, we most often think of those who died in the field of battle. But we must also remember that so many others have lost their lives because of the difficult environment in which we serve. They died of illness and accidents, as was the case for our deceased colleague,” recalled Mr. Onanga-Anyanga.
“He died at a time when his services in the contingent and the army of Zambia in general were indispensable. His death deprives the United Nations, the Zambian army, and the entire country of an extremely hard-working officer, “ said the Commander of the Zambian Battalion.,
Staff Sergeant Sichilyango deployed to the Central African Republic in June 2018. He joined the Zambian Army on March 14, 2005, after basic military training, and then completed courses in auto mechanics at the Military Training Establishment of Zambia (MILTEZ). He was 38 years old, married and had three children.
With 930 peacekeepers, including 59 women, the Zambian battalion has been deployed since 2015 in the Vakaga prefecture, northeast of CAR, to ensure the protection of civilians. Based in Birao, the contingent provides security in the locality and surrounding area by conducting daily patrols. Like other contingents of the Mission, the Zambian Battalion regularly organizes civil-military activities in solidarity with the people in its area of responsibility and with the aim of strengthening social cohesion.