Welcome to the United Nations

UNIFIL, LAF pay tribute to fallen Malaysian peacekeeper

UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Lt. Gen. Aroldo Lázaro led a memorial ceremony in the tarmac of the Beirut international airport today to pay last respects to a Malaysian peacekeeper, who died of medical reasons over the weekend in her base in Maarakeh, south Lebanon.

Joined by representatives of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), Malaysia’s Ambassador to Lebanon Azri Mat Yacob, and fellow peacekeepers, Lt. Gen. Lázaro paid tribute to Sergeant Faridah Abd Rahman, 39, who arrived in Lebanon to served with UNIFIL on 12 November last year.

“We would like to thank her family and her country, for giving us the privilege and honour to serve with her,” said the UNIFIL head in the ceremony in Beirut, before the mortal remains of the deceased were flown back home in Malaysia.

“In addition to our gratitude, we offer our deepest and most sincere condolences to Sergeant Faridah’s family, to all her friends, and to the Government of Malaysia,” added Lt. Gen. Lázaro, calling her an “outstanding sergeant.” 

The UNIFIL head and the LAF representative also awarded posthumously the deceased peacekeeper UN and LAF medals respectively for her dedicated service for peace in south Lebanon.

Sergeant Faridah had just returned from her leave and disembarked from the bus in the early hours of 18 May when she collapsed in the Maarakeh camp. She was pronounced dead shortly afterwards as she stopped responding to medical procedures in the camp hospital.

Sergeant Faridah is survived by her husband, three daughters (aged 13, 7 and 4) and a son (aged 10).

She is the fifth Malaysian peacekeeper to die while serving with UNIFIL since 2007, when the Malaysian Armed Forces started deploying peacekeepers to Lebanon. Currently, more than 830 Malaysian peacekeepers serve with UNIFIL.

The Commander of the Malaysian Battalion of UNIFIL, Colonel Burhan bin Sagoni, said Sergeant Faridah was a “dedicated and honourable member of our unit, embodying the values and spirit that define our forces.”

“Her courage and commitment to the mission and to her comrades were exemplary,” he added. “We mourn her passing deeply and extend our heartfelt condolences to her family and loved ones.