My name is Captain Mbaye Diagne, I am a United Nations Captain and I come from Senegal, West Africa. I am a Muslim man and I married my beautiful wife in 1988. I have two children. My family and I reside in the capital Dakar and I am a service man within the Senegalese army. The reason why I decided to become a peace soldier was based on so many reasons, the biggest reason being I am a humanitarian. I believe in the values of respecting life. You see my friend, life is a precious gift and it must be guarded and protected.

I am known as that guy who has a sparkle in his eyes and a welcoming smile. Well, you can say a ‘quarter past nine smile’. I am dark in complexion, tall, smooth and most of all energetic. I love to wear what fashion connoisseurs called ‘police glasses’, I often smoke cigarettes. My friends know me as that smiling, confident and friendly man. My commander from Canada, Commander Romeo Dellaire, describes me as an “expressive type of a person who stands out from the rest. He moves half a pace than the others… what he does is in total concert of who he is.”

Now! Since you now know a brief background of my life, allow me to hold your hand as we walk down memory lane.

Rwanda is a beautiful country with magnificent, breath-taking and adulating hills. This country is small in comparison to her sisters whom she shares borders with.

On 6 April 1994 Rwanda flipped like a coin. The gates of hell were opened unleashing the ugliness of hell upon the petite young lass of the African Great Lakes’ region. In actual terms, she was not ready for the ensuing madness that was to come. It was brother against brother, father against father, and nephew against nephew. All who were moderate were also captured in the net of hate.

The United Nations (UN) sent us to monitor the situation, but to be honest there was no need for monitoring the ensuing madness. All hell broke loose after the assassinations of Rwandan President Juvenile Habyarimana and Burundian President Melchior Ndadaye after their aircraft was shot down.

This sparked tensions between Rwandans, the situation was so dire and distressing. Rwanda was already in a state of unrest and the assassination of President Habyarimana was the final straw. It was like opening the Pandora’s Box if I could draw a comparison. There were various other reasons that were cited as factors that sparked the madness. For instance, the role of media houses and deep underlying tensions that brewed overtime.

It required swift action to ease the tensions that were already spilling like a pot on the stove. World leaders were there back in New York debating and vetoing and voting, while the tensions in Africa were spiralling out of control. Even Rwanda’s sisters could not intervene or do something to stop the madness that had engulfed the country. In my understanding, what happened within the hundred days of the year of 1994 was when the world stood by and did nothing.

I was at home, in Dakar, with my beautiful wife when I heard over the radio that South Africa had attained her independence and the apartheid regime was abolished in that same year. If you ask me, it was about time that racist government was removed.

Back to Rwanda, the lass had a fever that needed to be treated urgently. Unfortunately, the ‘doctors’ who had the medication dragged their feet. They debated over the same issues hours and hours in their security council while the lass burnt away.


Tell us: What do you think of Mbaye’s character so far?