The Zambian scholar who died in battle in Ukraine was buried Wednesday in a personal ceremony in his dwelling nation, a household spokesman instructed CNN.

Lemekani Nathan Nyirenda died on the frontlines of the Ukraine conflict whereas combating for Russian mercenary group Wagner in September final yr.

His household consultant Dr. Ian Banda spoke to CNN Wednesday morning because the household headed to Nyirenda’s last resting place in his village.

“We’re going to bury him now…. We’re in a convoy… His (Nyirenda’s) mom and father are in a car behind me. They’re crying proper now,” Banda instructed CNN.

Nyirenda’s physique was returned to Zambia final month. On arrival on December 11, his stays had been transported to Zambia’s College Instructing Hospital Mortuary for autopsy checks in compliance with Zambian legal guidelines.

“The funeral gathering on the Nyirenda household residence, burial and memorial service formalities shall solely start upon completion of the aforementioned necessary statutory procedures,” a household assertion stated on the time.

Banda instructed CNN forensic investigation carried out on Nyirenda’s physique had been “confirmed,” with out releasing additional particulars.

Nyirenda will not be the primary African scholar killed within the Ukrainian battlefront combating for Russia in a growth that has sparked fury throughout the continent.

A Tanzanian nationwide, recognized as Nemes Tarimo by his nation’s overseas ministry, was killed final October final whereas combating with Wagner in alternate for cash and amnesty, the ministry stated in a assertion on Tuesday.

Tarimo was a grasp’s scholar on the Moscow Technological College, finding out Enterprise Informatics earlier than being despatched to jail for seven years for undisclosed prison expenses in March final yr, the ministry said, including that his physique had been dispatched from Russia and was anticipated to reach in Tanzania quickly for burial.

Nyirenda, 23, was sponsored by the Zambian authorities to review nuclear engineering on the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute however was convicted in 2020 of unspecified crimes in Russia and imprisoned for 9 years and 6 months, Zambia’s overseas ministry stated in a assertion asserting his dying in November.

In a follow-up assertion final month, the ministry defined Nyirenda was pardoned by the Russian authorities in August “to affix a navy operation in alternate for amnesty” and “was killed in September 2022 whereas collaborating in navy actions.”

Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner mercenary group admitted to recruiting Nyirenda from a Russian jail, saying he selected to combat to “repay (Africa’s) money owed” to Russia and “died a hero.”

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