21 Mar 2011

Long-serving Marshall Islands diplomat dies at 54

12:21 pm on 21 March 2011

One of the longest serving Marshall Islands diplomats, Ambassador Banny deBrum, has died in Honolulu after an extended illness.

He was 54.

The Marshall Islands Foreign Minister, John Silk, says Mr deBrum was one of the Marshall Islands' most dedicated public servants.

He says he had anchored the Marshalls' Washington embassy for two decades.

He says he was one of a kind, a true statesman, and that makes his passing all the more painful.

Mr Silk says Mr deBrum was actively involved in renegotiation of a Compact of Free Association with the U.S. in the early 2000s that led to a 20-year aid package worth more than 1 billion US dollars.

He joined the diplomatic corps of the Marshall Islands shortly after it achieved independence in 1986.