The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary‑General António Guterres:
The Secretary‑General strongly condemns today’s attack perpetrated by suspected anti‑Balaka against a convoy of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), on the Bangassou‑Kongbo axis, in the country’s south‑east. As a result of the attack, one peacekeeper from Egypt was killed and three others were injured. The injured peacekeepers have been evacuated for medical treatment to Bria. The Secretary‑General offers his deepest condolences and sympathy to the family of the victim and to the Government of Egypt. He wishes a swift recovery to the wounded.
With this latest attack, hostile acts have claimed the lives of 13 peacekeepers in the Central African Republic since January 2017. The Secretary‑General firmly recalls that attacks against United Nations peacekeepers may constitute a war crime. He calls on the Central African Republic authorities to investigate the attack 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, recently renewed by the Security Council, in particular to protect civilians and to help advance the political process in the Central African Republic. He notes that this latest attack occurred as members of the Panel of Facilitators of the African Union‑led Initiative for Peace and Reconciliation are beginning their good offices role to support dialogue and help bring about an end to conflict in the country.