Five peacekeepers of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) were killed in an attack by the Anti-Balaka rebels, and 10 others, 9 Moroccan and a Cambodian, were injured and evacuated.
Four Cambodian peacekeepers were killed on the spot, while the fifth victim, a Moroccan who has previously been reported missing was found dead later.
The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) has confirmed the death of the Moroccan peacekeeper after it
retrieved his body and transferred it to the Royal Armed Forces stationed in Bangui.
The attack against the MINUSCA convoy was executed on May 8 on the Rafai-Bangassou axis, in the country’s south east by the Anti-Balaka rebels.
The UN Secretary General, Antonio Gueterres, the MINUSCA and the UN Security Council have all strongly condemned the attack against the peacekeepers, extended condolences to the families of the victims and expressed solidarity with Morocco and Cambodia.
“Attacks against United Nations peacekeepers may constitute a war crime,” Guterres said through his spokesperson when condemning the deadly attack.
The UN Chief and the Security Council have both called on the CAR authorities to investigate the attack in order to bring those responsible to justice swiftly.
The Secretary-General also reiterated his support to the actions of MINUSCA to protect civilians and stabilize the Central African Republic, and called “on all parties to heed President Faustin Archange Touadéra’s call to cease violence and work together towards the stability of the country.”
President of the UN General Assembly Peter Thomson flew to CAR “to show solidarity with our United Nations people on the ground, particularly our peacekeepers,” a UN release said.
The MINUSCA will hold a memorial ceremony for its fallen members. The ceremony will be presided over by UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix in the presence of the highest Central African authorities.
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.