Russian peacekeeper receives UN medal — RT Africa

The intelligence officer was killed in an attack on a UN helicopter in DR Congo last year

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres paid tribute to UN peacekeepers who had lost their lives in the line of duty, including Russian Lt. Col. Alexey Mizyura, who was part of a reconnaissance team killed in a helicopter crash in the Democratic Republic of Congo last year.

Thursday’s ceremony at the United Nations General Assembly Hall in New York marked the 75th anniversary of United Nations Peacekeepers Day on May 29. awarded posthumous medals to these 103 people who died last year.

Lt. Col. Mizyura was a senior intelligence officer with the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). On March 29, 2022, he was on a surveillance and reconnaissance mission with a team of UN military observers when their helicopter came under fire near the town of Rutshuru. The area had seen fighting between the Congolese army and militants affiliated with the March 23 Movement (M23), with both sides blaming each other for shooting down the plane. The entire UN team was killed in the accident, including six Pakistanis and a Serbian blue helmet.

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“Mizyura remained true to his duty to the end, striving to bring peace and stability to Congolese soil. Great professionalism, as well as his inherent courage, helped him carry out the most important missions,” said the Russian mission to the UN. Moscow’s permanent representative, Vassily Nebenzia, accepted the medal on Mizyura’s behalf and will pass it on to the officer’s surviving family.

The posthumous award is named after Dag Hammarskjold, a former UN secretary-general who was killed in a plane crash on his way to ceasefire talks during the Congo Crisis in 1961. The exact circumstances of this disaster are still unknown.

M23 militants were thought to have been defeated in 2013 with the help of UN peacekeepers, but they have risen again in recent years. Earlier this month, the 16-member Southern African Development Community (SADC) agreed to send troops to join the regional East African military force which has a presence in several areas of Congo previously controlled by the M23 militia since December 2022.

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