South Sudan: Rebels Murder Bangladesh Peacekeeper in South Sudan

Fighting between government and opposition forces has intensified in Unity region in South Sudan

Khartoum — AN attack by an armed group on a United Nations (UN) convoy in South Sudan has left a peacekeeper dead. The Bangladeshi peacekeeper died after the rebels opened fire at a convoy supporting the delivery of humanitarian aid to vulnerable civilians in the Central Equatorian region.

Lieutenant Commander Ashraf Siddiqui, the deceased, was part of a convoy led by Nepalese peacekeepers providing protection to humanitarian workers travelling from Yei to Lasu.

Peacekeepers immediately returned fire but the assailants retreated into the forest. David Shearer, the special representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Mission in South Sudan, expressed regret at the loss of life and condemned the actions of the armed group.

"It is a tragedy that he (Siddiqui) lost his life in such an appalling act of violence while working to help those in need and to protect the lives of others," Shearer said.

"Peacekeepers and aid workers should be able to carry out their work freely and safely and not be subjected to this kind of senseless attack."

The killing of the peacekeeper highlights the worsening situation in the world's newest country.

A civil war has gripped South Sudan in 2013, two years after independence from Sudan.

It is the consequence of a spat between President Salva Kiir and his then-deputy Riek Machar, who met in Sudan earlier this week to finalise a peace deal.

More than 50 peacekeepers have been killed since the deployment of the 12 000-member strong UN Mission in South Sudan.

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