4 December 2017

Central African Republic: UN Chief Condemns Killing of 'Blue Helmet' in Country's East

Secretary-General António Guterres has condemned the killing today of a Mauritanian peacekeeper and the wounding of three others of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) by anti-Balaka militia in Bria in the country' s east.

According to a statement issued by a UN spokesperson, the attack occurred at a checkpoint staffed by MINUSCA peacekeepers near an internally displaced persons site in the town.

This brings to 14 the number of peacekeepers killed in targeted attacks in the Central African Republic since January 2017.

"The Secretary-General offers his deepest condolences and sympathy to the family of the victim and to the Government of Mauritania. He wishes a swift recovery to the injured," said the statement.

Through the statement, Mr. Guterres recalled that attacks against UN peacekeepers may constitute a war crime. He urged the Central African authorities to swiftly investigate this incident and bring the perpetrators to justice.

"The Secretary-General reiterates the determination of MINUSCA to protect civilians and contribute to the stabilization of the Central African Republic," the statement said, adding that the UN chief urged all parties to cease violence and work together to bring peace and stability to the country.

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.

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