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30 OCTOBER 2007
UN SECRETARY GENERAL CONDOLES WITH RP, KIN OF PEACEKEEPER
NEW YORK –United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has expressed his condolences to the Philippines over the death of a Filipino Army officer who succumbed to malaria while serving as a military observer in the Sudan.
In a letter dated 26 October, Secretary General Ban asked Ambassador Hilario G. Davide Jr., Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations, to convey his heartfelt condolences to the Philippine Government and to the family of Lt. Col. Renerio Batalla who passed away on 24 October.
"I would be grateful if you could convey to your Government and to the bereaved family my heartfelt condolences on this terrible loss as well as my appreciation for Lieutenant Colonel Batalla's contributions to our work for peace in Sudan," the Secretary General said.
"I would also like to express to you once again my gratitude for the valuable support that the Government of the Republic of the Philippines continues to provide to this important peacekeeping operation," the Secretary General added.
Lieutenant Colonel Batalla was one of 66 Filipino police and military officers serving as peacekeepers with the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS). He passed away in the southern city of Rembek a day after he turned 41 and a few weeks before he was to end his one-year tour of duty in that country.
Ambassador Davide earlier sent a letter of condolences to Lieutenant Colonel Batalla's widow, Immaculate, where he cited the Army officer's contributions to international peace and security.
"Renerio was called home by our Creator at the young age of 41 while serving in a distant land, far from his loved ones," Ambassador Davide said. "Like all the other Filipino peacekeepers we have in various parts of the globe, Renerio's presence in the Sudan is part of our commitment to help maintain peace and rebuild lives in conflict zones around the world."
"We all could comfort ourselves with the fact that Renerio died in the line of duty and in the service of humankind. His contribution during the 11 months that he served in the Sudan will be remembered," he added. END
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