January 8th, 2017 13:29 EST
UN Condemns Murder of UN Peacekeeper in Congo
The Security Council has strongly condemned the ambush by unknown attackers late last week against a convoy of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) in Bokayai, in the northwest part of the country, in which one Bangladeshi peacekeeper was killed.
In a press statement, the members of the Security Council expressed their deepest condolences and sympathy to the bereaved family of the peacekeeper killed, the Government of Bangladesh and MINUSCA, and extended their sympathies to the Government of the Central African Republic (CAR).
Strongly condemning all attacks and provocations against MINUSCA by armed groups - a similar deadly ambush on a convoy in the south-eastern part of the country killed two blue helmets from Morocco and wounded two others just a day before the most recent incident - the Security Council underlined that attacks targeting peacekeepers may constitute a war crime and reminded all parties of their obligations under international humanitarian law.
Council members also called on CAR authorities to swiftly investigate the attack and bring the perpetrators to justice. They stressed that those responsible for the attack shall be held accountable.
According to MINUSCA, which also strongly condemned the attack, the Bangladeshi `blue helmet` was killed on Thursday in Bokayai, 25 kilomretres (about 16 miles) southwest of Bocaranga, in Ouham-Pende Prefecture.
The Mission said that its peacekeepers on patrol were returning from the town of Koui when they were attacked by about 50 assailants. The peacekeepers responded to the attack.
Condemning this attack as well as aggressions and provocations against its peacekeepers, MINUSCA underlined, once again, that attacks targeting peacekeepers are unacceptable and may constitute a war crime.
Clashes between the mainly Muslim Séléka rebel coalition and anti-Balaka militia, which are mostly Christian, plunged the country of 4.5 million people into civil conflict in 2013. Despite significant progress and successful elections, CAR has remained in the grip of instability and sporadic unrest.
In December 2016, the Mission supported a new dialogue between 11 of the 14 armed groups, as part of an ongoing effort to disarm the factions.
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