CAR, United Nations peacekeepers and personnel attacked

UN peacekeepers patrol UN peacekeepers patrol Photo by M.Torres on iStock

25 December 2020

Recent UN statements reveal the increasing extent of violence against peacekeepers and humanitarian personnel in the Central African Republic

On 25 December 2020, the United Nations Secretary-General’s spokesman issued a statement on the killing of three UN peacekeepers in the Central African Republic (CAR) which occurred on that day. Specifically, the attacks occurred in the areas of Dékoa, Kémo Prefecture, and Bakouma, Mbomou Prefecture. According to the statement, three peacekeepers from Burundi were killed and two others were wounded. The peacekeepers were from the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) and national security forces. The attackers were unidentified armed combatants.

The statement calls on the CAR authorities to investigate these “heinous” attacks, and further reiterates that such attacks against UN peacekeepers may constitute a war crime. Swift justice to bring the perpetrators to justice was emphasised as well as the Secretary-General’s “deepest” condolences to the families of the deceased peacekeepers, as well as to the people and Government of Burundi.

Since 20 December 2020, violence and tension has escalated in several parts of the country ahead of the presidential and parliamentary elections. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), over 55, 000 people have fled their homes as a result. Moreover, in the past week alone, over 17 incidents against humanitarian personnel and assets have been recorded. This includes the recorded incident of an ambulance and a health district vehicle carjacked, injuring a worker. The OCHA released a statement on 24 December 2020 “calling on armed elements to immediately stop all attacks against humanitarian personnel and to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law and to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure.”


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Author: Catherine Gregoire

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