The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:
The Secretary-General strongly condemns the attack perpetrated by anti-Balaka elements against local officials on 15 March in Grimari, Ouaka Prefecture, Central African Republic. United Nations peacekeepers confronted the attackers and one Burundian peacekeeper was killed. The Secretary-General expresses his deepest condolences to the family of the deceased peacekeeper, as well to the Government and people of Burundi.
The Secretary-General also strongly condemns a separate attack by suspected elements of the Rassemblement patriotique pour le renouveau de la Centrafrique (RPRC) and Parti du Rassemblement de la Nation Centrafricaine (PRNC) against a United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) patrol on the same day on the Ndélé-Birao axis, in the prefecture of Bamingui-Bangoran, in which one peacekeeper from Pakistan was injured. The Secretary-General wishes a speedy recovery to the wounded.
The Secretary-General recalls that attacks targeting United Nations peacekeepers may constitute a war crime under international law. He calls on the Central African Republic authorities to spare no effort in identifying the perpetrators of these attacks so that they can be swiftly brought to justice.
The Secretary-General reaffirms the determination of MINUSCA to continue implementing its mandate, in particular to protect civilians and to help advance the political process in the Central African Republic.