A movie should be made on Mbaye Diagne. You can listen to the entire
piece at the link below.
Twenty years ago in Rwanda, the UN force there was unable to save the
some 800,000 Rwandans who perished.
A small UN force was in Rwanda before the massacres began.
But after the slaughter started, most Western peacekeepers were evacuated.
Those that remained – many from African nations – were poorly armed, and
lacked a clear mandate.
The BBC’s Mark Doyle says in a new report one of them, a Senegalese
captain named Mbaye Diagne, stood out for his actions.
“He was a devout Muslim – as most Senegalese are – but he would carry
alcohol in his car, he’d carry cases of beer, he’d carry cigarettes,
wads of cash, and he would literally buy the lives of people he was
trying to get through the road blocks,” Doyle says.
Dr. Odette Nyiramilimo was in one of the many convoys piled full of
people trying to escape when the vehicles came under attack by Hutu
“Capt. Mbaye arrived and he looked at all those people who were trying
to pull us out and pushed them away and told us to lay down,”
Nyiramilimo says. “He stood on that truck saying, ‘You are not killing
these people. If you want to kill them, you kill me first, but you are
not killing them while I am here.'”
Ultimately Rwanda did not pay Capt. Mbaye Diagne back for his kindness.
He was killed by what is thought to have been a stray mortar round that
exploded near his car in late May of 1994.
He was just 12 days shy of ending his mission.