The United Nations Secretary General António Guterres has condemned the killing of a Rwandan peacekeeper serving under the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).
The Rwanda Defence Force (RDF), whose names are yet to be revealed was killed in an attack on July 13 in Central African Republic.
Guterres, through his Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric, said he strongly condemns the attack allegedly carried out by the Return, Reclamation and Rehabilitation (3R) armed elements who targeted a MINUSCA convoy in Gedze, Nana-Mambere prefecture in the northwest of the country.
The attack claimed a peacekeeper from Rwanda and two others were wounded. The RDF Acting Spokesperson in a phone call with Kigali Today confirmed the development but said the names will be revealed after his family is informed.
“The Secretary-General expresses his deepest condolences to the family of the victim as well as to the people and Government of Rwanda. He wishes a speedy recovery to the injured,” a statement from Guterres’ office reads.
“The Secretary-General recalls that attacks against United Nations peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law. He calls on the Central African Republic authorities to spare no effort in identifying the perpetrators of this attack so that they can be brought to justice swiftly,” it adds.
The Secretary-General reaffirmed that the United Nations will continue to support national efforts to advance peace and stability in the Central African Republic, working closely with the country’s international partners.
MINUSCA, the UN peacekeeping operation in the Central African Republic, works to protect civilians and support transition processes.
The authorities and 14 armed groups, which included 3R, signed a Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in February 2019.
“This criminal attack constitutes a new violation of the peace agreement by the 3R & its leader Abass Sidiki”, the UN mission said on Twitter.
The head of UN Peacekeeping also condemned the attack, calling it a cowardly attack.
“This cowardly attack”, adding that “this crime must not go unpunished, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the head of MINUSCA said on Twitter, strongly condemning the attack.
Rwanda is the leading contributor of peacekeepers to MINUSCA, with about 1,357 troops and 420 officers.