UN creates medal of courage in honour of late peacekeeper

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Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zeid al-Hussein. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

The Security Council has decided to create a medal in honour of a United Nations peacekeeper credited with saving the lives of many Rwandans during the 1994 genocide.

More than 800,000 Tutsis as well as Hutus were massacred during that period.

The "Captain Mbaye Diagne Medal for Exceptional Courage" will be awarded to military, police and civilian UN personnel who demonstrate exceptional courage in the face of extreme danger while serving the UN".

Jordan's ambassador to the UN, Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zeid al-Hussein, made the proposal after watching a documentary about the late Diagne.

"It was named after Captain Mbaye Diagne from Senegal who sacrificed his life after rescuing on his own hundreds, maybe even a thousand civilians who were threatened by certain death during the genocide against the Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Rwanda twenty years ago. He is a hero of the UN without equal and it is an honour for us to place his name on this medal."

The Council said it regretted how Captain Diagne's family never received, after his death, any expressions of appreciation from UN Headquarters for the sacrifices he made.

The 15-member body requested the Secretary-General to establish, within six months from today, the design of the medal as well as determine how the recipients of the medal will be nominated and chosen.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’39″

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