Chadian peacekeeper is second UN Diagne Medal honouree

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A Chadian Armed Forces captain was posthumously honoured with the top United Nations (UN) peacekeeping award the Captain Mbaye Diagne Medal for Exceptional Courage.

Captain Abdelrazakh Hamit Bahar was honoured for his actions during a counter-attack while serving with MINUSMA, the UN mission in Mali, in April last year.

“The captain was deployed at Aguelhok super camp in the north-east when it was attacked by an armed terrorist group attempting to seize the base and its outposts.

“He led a bold counterattack to defend the camp, protect the lives of his colleagues and prevent civilian casualties. While attempting to secure the perimeter, Captain Abdelrazakh noticed armed assailants entering a nearby house. Determined to ensure they did not harm colleagues and the civilian population, he singlehandedly led an operation to clear and secure the house where he was shot and killed,” the UN said.

“Captain Abdelrazakh’s willingness to risk his own life to save others exemplifies the courage and dedication of the more than a million peacekeepers who served on the frontlines of conflict since 1948,”Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, said in tribute to only the second UN peacekeeper to be honoured with the Diagne Medal.

“The captain’s sacrifice highlights the increasing danger faced by UN peacekeepers carrying out vital work in some of the world’s most challenging environments.

“Captain Abdelrazakh made the ultimate sacrifice in pursuit of peace. We mourn his loss alongside his family, colleagues and the nation of Chad.  His selfless service inspires all and we are proud to honour him,” Lacroix said.