Tanzania: Grief Over the Death of African Student Killed in Israel

By Lisa Vives, Global Information Network

NEW YORK | DAR ES SALAAM | 27 November 2023 (IDN) — Clemence Felix Mtenga should have graduated from university this week. Instead, his body was being flown home from Israel to his grieving family in Tanzania.

The 22-year-old agriculture student had been killed following the 7 October attack by Hamas fighters that sparked a round of deadly fighting still ongoing between Israeli and Hamas fighters.

While the repatriation of his body was delayed, his family said they had made plans for a funeral on Tuesday in his hometown in Rombo district near Kilimanjaro.

This week he was awarded his degree posthumously from the Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania.

One of his classmates attending the graduation ceremony, Cleopatra Mluge, told the BBC that Mr Mtenga “was like a leader because he was humble and always ready to assist and advise friends”.

Another classmate, Irene Chaboma, remembered him as “a hard worker in class and one of the best performing students. May his soul rest in peace.”

The two Tanzanians were living in Israel as part of an agricultural internship program. They were expected to stay in the country for a further 11 months. Approximately 260 Tanzanians study agriculture in Israel.

Reached by phone, the father of Tanzanian student Joshua Mollel told the AFP news service that he would love to see the two fighting sides agree to end war and release all hostages. “I feel bad all the time because my son is not a warrior… As parents, we are having very challenging times.”

Hundreds of other foreign students have been trapped in the fighting, some are reported missing or have perished, government sources say.

In the case of Nepal, some 4,500 Nepalis have been working as caregivers in Israel, 265 Nepali students went to the agricultural sector under the “Learn and Earn’ scheme. Cambodian authorities who confirmed the presence of 452 nationals now report that 422 Cambodian students are choosing to remain in Israel at their current locations.

A Cambodian student has died near the Gaza border, the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed.

Meanwhile, Revocatus Kimario, the head of Sugeco, which ran the Tanzania’s internship program said: “For us, Clemence is a hero because he went abroad to look for skills to transform and develop agriculture in his own country. We pray for his family.” [IDN-InDepthNews]

Photo: Clemence Felix Mtenga. Source: Global Information Network

IDN is the flagship agency of the Non-profit International Press Syndicate.

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