UN condemns attack on peacekeepers in Central African Republic

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United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNAMIS) personnel guard South Sudanese people displaced by recent fighting in Jabel, on the outskirts of capital Juba December 23, 2013. REUTERS/James Akena (SOUTH SUDAN – Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST MILITARY) – RTX16SI7

The United Nations (UN) on Monday strongly condemned Sunday’s armed militant attack against the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), which resulted in the death of one peacekeeper.

Armed rebel fighters known as the anti-Balaka, under the command of Dimitri Ayoloma, on Sunday launched the attack in the city of Grimari. One Burundian peacekeeper was killed while attempting to stop the attack.

Noting that attacks targeting UN peacekeepers may “constitute a war crime” under international law, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on the Central African Republic authorities to spare no efforts to identify the perpetrators of the attack so that they can be swiftly brought to justice.

Members of the UN Security Council extended their deepest condolences and sympathy to the family of the victim, Burundi and the MINUSCA, and condemned in the strongest terms all attacks, provocations and incitement to violence against the MINUSCA by armed groups and other perpetrators.

Head of the MINUSCA Mankeur Ndiaye also expressed his condolences to the peacekeeper and Burundi, calling the attack a “heinous act.”

“This crime must not go unpunished,” tweeted UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix.