UN condemns attack injuring 10 peacekeepers in Central African Republic

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The United Nations (UN) mission in the Central African Republic (CAR) strongly condemns an attack by members of the presidential guard which wounded 10 peacekeepers, a UN spokesman has said.

Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said the attack on members of an Egyptian police peacekeeping unit “appears to be a deliberate and unjustifiable attack” on the blue helmets, Xinhua news agency reported.

A civilian died in a related accident, Haq added.

The mission, known as MINUSCA, reported the peacekeepers were shot and wounded, including two seriously, by members of the presidential guard in the capital of Bangui on Monday, he said. The Egyptian police officers landed at Bangui’s airport earlier in the day. They are part of the periodic rotation and deployment of troops in the country.

“They were on their way to their base when they suffered heavy fire from members of the presidential guard,” he said.

“The mission said in a statement that the police officers were fired at without any warning or response. They were unarmed.”

Attempting to flee the attack, about 120 metres from the presidential residence, the bus carrying the Egyptian police unit hit a woman, who died, the spokesman said.

“A MINUSCA delegation later met the victim’s family to offer condolences. They also condemned this tragic accident.”

“The leadership of our UN peacekeeping mission and members of the Central African government immediately initiated a dialogue for the opening of the necessary investigations into this incident, and to ensure accountability in accordance with the obligations under the agreement between the United Nations and the CAR government,” Haq said

–IANS

int/khz/