In the days and weeks that followed, Capt. Mbaye became a legend among U.N. forces in Kigali. He continued his solo rescue missions, and had an uncanny ability to charm his way past checkpoints full of killers. On one occasion he found a group of 25 Tutsis hiding in a house in Nyamirambo, a Kigali neighborhood that was particularly dangerous. Capt. Mbaye ferried the Tutsis to the U.N. headquarters in groups of five -- on each trip passing through 23 militia checkpoints with a Jeep-load of Tutsis. Somehow, he convinced the killers to let these Tutsis live.
On May 31st, Capt. Mbaye was driving alone back to U.N. headquarters in Kigali when a random mortar shell, fired by the Rwandan Patriotic Front towards an extremist checkpoint, mistakenly landed next to his Jeep. He was killed instantly.
Capt. Mbaye, a devout Muslim, was one of nine children from a poor family on the outskirts of Dakar, Senegal's capital. He was the first in his family to go to college. After graduating from the University of Dakar, he joined the army and worked his way up through the ranks. After his death, he was buried in Senegal with full military honors. He was survived by a wife and two young children.
In mid-May 1994, about a month into the genocide, someone gave Capt. Diagne a video camera, and he started filming U.N. peacekeepers and aid workers in Kigali. His tape is a rare glimpse inside the U.N.'s force in Rwanda -- humorous, poignant and very human. But there are no clues as to how Capt. Mbaye managed to save so many lives. He never took his camera on his rescue missions, and so the true source of his heroism remains a mystery.
After Capt. Mbaye died, one of his closest friends -- Lt. Col. Babacar Faye, another Senegalese officer in Kigali -- found his videotape and later gave it to Capt. Mbaye's family in Dakar. Lt. Col. Faye and Capt. Mbaye's widow kindly made the tape available to FRONTLINE so that the memory of this remarkable soldier and hero can live on.