Africa UN peacekeeper killed in Central African Republic

UN peacekeeper killed in Central African Republic

A Burundian peacekeeper from the UN mission in the Central African Republic (CAR) was killed Friday during an attack perpetrated by a rebel group, according to a UN statement.

The UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the CAR (MINUSCA) said in a statement Friday night that the attack occurred near the southern town of Grimari, where Burundian and Bangladeshi peacekeepers were carrying out a security operation.

Rebels launched two successive ambushes on the UN peacekeepers, killing one in the second ambush.

Two Bangladeshi peacekeepers were slightly injured in the clashes and are currently receiving treatment, according to the statement.

Mankeur Ndiaye, UN Secretary-General Special Representative in the CAR and head of MINUSCA honored the fallen peacekeeper in Grimari and expressed his condolences to the family, the Burundian contingent, and the government of Burundi.

He also wished a speedy recovery to the two injured Bangladeshi peacekeepers.

Violence has flared in the CAR since ex-President Francois Bozize’s candidacy for the Dec. 27, 2020 elections was turned down.

The retired general, who seized power in a 2003 coup, was ousted in a 2013 rebellion. Several militia groups, some close to Bozize, have since attacked civilians, armed forces and UN peacekeeping forces.

At least seven UN peacekeepers have been killed in recent weeks.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) on Friday called for an immediate end to all armed violence in the Central African country, noting that some 60,000 people have been forced to flee the country since December.

A UN expert said Friday that impunity would continue to fuel violence and conflict in the CAR if the perpetrators, co-perpetrators and accomplices of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law were not arrested, prosecuted and tried.