Rabat – Emotions ran high on Friday as the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) paid a tribute to three Moroccan soldiers killed in the CAR.
The three peacekeepers were killed on Sunday and Tuesday two ambushes by the Christian militia Anti-Balaka.
Master Corporal Hicham Amaharit, Sergent Mohamed Ait Said, and Master Corporal Zaid Kabouz were part of the Moroccan contingent in Bangassou, southeastern Central African Republic before they were killed.
Wrapped in the Moroccan flag, the caskets of the three peacekeepers were carried by other Moroccan blue helmets.
The ceremony was attended by the Moroccan ambassador to Central Africa Mostafa Halfaoui, MINUSCA chief, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, and the mission’s commander General Balla Keita.
During the ceremony, Lieutenant-Colonel Abdeslam Es Saadli, the representative of the Moroccan contingent chief, saluted the dead Moroccan soldiers for “their attachment to universal values of peace and respect of human rights.”
The Lieutenant-Colonel offered the contingent’s condolences to the families of the deceased.
Several pictures posted by MINIUSCA on its website show the grief that pervaded the ceremony.
Onanga-Anyanga is seen solemnly laying flowers on the three coffins, while a soldier from the Moroccan contingent is photographed crying over his colleague’s death.
In total, eight Moroccan soldiers have been killed since 2015 in the African country still struggling to find peace.