The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:
The Secretary-General is outraged by the attacks perpetrated by suspected anti-Balaka against civilians and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) on 12 and 13 May, in the town of Bangassou, in the south-east of the country. These attacks led to significant population displacement, an undetermined number of civilian casualties and the death of one Moroccan peacekeeper, bringing to six the number of peacekeepers killed in the Central African Republic this week.
The Secretary-General offers his condolences to the family of the bereaved peacekeeper and the Government of Morocco. The Secretary-General reiterates that attacks against United Nations peacekeepers may constitute a war crime. He strongly condemns attacks against the civilian population and MINUSCA, and calls on the Central African Republic authorities to investigate the attacks in order to swiftly bring those responsible to justice.
The Secretary-General reaffirms the determination of the United Nations to advance the implementation of MINUSCA’s mandate. The Secretary-General extends his deep appreciation to MINUSCA's troop- and police-contributing countries for their support.
These recent incidents amply demonstrate that the situation in the Central African Republic is still fragile hence the need for continued and sustained regional and international support to overcome the challenges at hand.