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Security Council Strongly Condemns Attack on UN Peacekeepers in Central African Republic

BY ALEX BALUKU

In a press statement released on 16 January 2024, the United Nations Security Council vehemently condemned the attack on the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) that occurred on 15 January. The attack, carried out through an explosive device in Mbindale, resulted in the tragic death of one Cameroonian peacekeeper and left five others wounded.

The Security Council expressed its deepest condolences to the family of the fallen peacekeeper, as well as to Cameroon, the troop-contributing country. Additionally, condolences were extended to the United Nations, highlighting the collective grief over the loss of a dedicated peacekeeping force member. The Council wished a swift and full recovery to those peacekeepers who sustained injuries during the attack.

The Council reiterated its strong stance against attacks on peacekeepers, emphasizing that such acts could amount to war crimes. It reminded all parties involved in the conflict of their obligations under international humanitarian law. Urging the Central African Republic’s government to promptly investigate the incident with the support of MINUSCA, the Council called for accountability and justice, in accordance with Security Council resolutions 2518 (2020) and 2589 (2021). They stressed that participating in planning, directing, sponsoring, or conducting attacks against MINUSCA peacekeepers could lead to sanctions designations per UN Security Council resolutions.

Expressing particular concern over reports of illicit transnational trafficking networks funding armed groups in the Central African Republic, the Council noted the alarming rise in the use of explosive ordnances. Improvised explosive devices and landmines, in particular, have led to an increasing number of civilian casualties, property destruction, and disruptions in humanitarian access. The Council emphasized the need for thorough investigations and measures to combat this growing threat.

The Security Council reaffirmed its unwavering support for MINUSCA and extended deep appreciation to the troop- and police-contributing countries for their invaluable contributions. Emphasizing the importance of MINUSCA having the necessary capacities to fulfill its mandate, the Council highlighted the need to promote the safety and security of UN peacekeepers, as outlined in Security Council resolution 2709 (2023).

Underlining their strong backing for the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Central African Republic, Valentine Rugwabiza, and MINUSCA, the Council reiterated its commitment to assisting the Central African Republic authorities and its people in achieving lasting peace and stability. Resolution 2709 (2023) mandates MINUSCA to play a crucial role in supporting efforts for peace and stability in the region.

As the international community mourns the loss of a peacekeeper and condemns the attack, there is a collective call for swift and effective measures to bring those responsible to justice, combat transnational threats, and ensure the safety of UN peacekeepers in their mission to promote peace and stability in the Central African Republic.

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