Last respects paid to deceased UNIFIL French peacekeeper

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15 Mar 2020

Last respects paid to deceased UNIFIL French peacekeeper

UNIFIL, its strategic partner the Lebanese Armed Forces and fellow peacekeepers today paid their last respect to Corporal Volodymyr Rybontchouk of the UN Mission’s French Contingent who tragically passed away on Friday in a road accident while serving for peace in south Lebanon.


A member of UNIFIL Force Commander Reserve (FCR)’s engineer section, Corporal Rybontchouk died during a recce mission from FCR’s main base in Dayr Kifa, south Lebanon. He had arrived in Lebanon to serve with UNIFIL only two weeks earlier, on 27 February, for a four-month tour of duty.


During today’s memorial service for late Corporal Rybontchouk in FCR’s main base in Dayr Kifa, UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Stefano Del Col awarded him with the UN Medal posthumously for his dedicated service for peace and stability in south Lebanon. Lebanese Army representative Brigadier General Imad Haj Chhade also awarded him a Lebanese medal.


“We would like to express heart-felt gratitude to his family and his country, for giving us the privilege to serve with Corporal Volodymyr Rybontchouk, and for their valuable contribution to our joint effort,” said Major General Del Col. “We shall always keep in mind our fallen comrades in arms, for they represent an example of unwavering commitment to UNIFIL and to this country.”


Born on 30 June 1995 in a small Ukrainian village, Corporal Rybontchouk joined the Foreign Legion of the French Armed Forces more than four years ago, following the footstep of his elder brother.


A remarkable sportsman, a nature lover, always smiling, optimistic and being a good comrade, Corporal Rybontchouk was a driving force in his platoon and his company.


Since UNIFIL’s establishment in 1978, more than 300 peacekeepers have died while serving for peace in south Lebanon.