Speaking on the island of Zanzibar, home to 13 of the men, Under Secretary-General Jean-Pierre La Croix promised families their loved ones’ service and sacrifice, would never be forgotten.
“I know that it’s difficult to find words to express your pain. But let me assure you, that as you will never forget your brave heroes, we will never forget them as well,” he said.
The peacekeeping chief’s address concludes a two-day visit to the country, where he also met with members of the Tanzanian People’s Defence Force.
On 7 December 2017, suspected Allied Democratic Force (ADF) fighters, a rebel militia based in neighbouring Uganda, ambushed a contingent from the UN Stabilization Mission in DRC (MONUSCO), at its Company Operating Base in Semuliki in the Beni area of North Kivu. A protracted fire-fight ensued between rebels, the UN blue helmets, and Government troops.
Besides the 15 Tanzanian peacekeepers serving under the blue flag who lost their lives, 44 others were wounded.
The North Kivu region in eastern DRC, has been the site of numerous assaults on UN peacekeeping forces. Two months before rebels struck last December, two other blue helmets were killed in action and another 18 wounded in an attack on their base in the same area.
Secretary-General António Guterres has called the 7 December killings an indicator of the growing challenges faced by the UN’s peacekeeping operations around the world, and in remarks directly following the attack, he dubbed the deliberate acts “unacceptable” and “a war crime.”
During 2017, more than 110,000 peacekeepers were deployed across 15 missions around the world, and nearly 19,000 UN personnel work in DRC alone, making it the second largest peacekeeping mission behind UNMISS, in South Sudan.
Since its establishment in July of 2010, 154 peacekeepers have been killed, serving with MONUSCO.
In response to regular attacks in the Beni area, MONUSCO and the Congolese armed forces (FARDC) jointly planned offensive operations, which began on 13 November of this year, where the alliance managed to retake key territory from rebel control, in an effort to build a future free from fear.
Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
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Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
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Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
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