MISCA strongly condemns the murder of a peacekeeper in the northern CAR town of Boali
BANGUI, Central African Republic, March 26, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission and Head of the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (MISCA), Gen. Jean Marie Michel Mokoko has learned with shock and sadness of the death of a MISCA peacekeeper in Boali, about 80 kilometers north of Bangui, in the Central African Republic (CAR). The peacekeeper from the Republic of the Congo was killed at about 6:30 p.m. yesterday when the vehicle in which he was travelling with three other MISCA soldiers was attacked by a group of armed men. The MISCA troops returned fire killing 12 assailants who were later identified as anti-Balaka militia. The dead attackers included a well-known notorious anti-Balaka Commander. Two other MISCA peacekeepers in the vehicle were slightly injured. In a separate incident yesterday in the district of Bimbo, in Bangui, a MISCA peacekeeper from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was wounded in an attack by yet unidentified assailants. Both incidents occurred a day after an attack on a MISCA vehicle at the Reconciliation Roundabout in Bangui, in which three peacekeepers were injured, two seriously.
The Special Representative strongly condemns these incidents and reiterates that there can be no justification whatsoever for any individual or group to attack peacekeepers from fellow African countries deployed in the CAR to help Central Africans resolve their crises. He notes with regret that in the last few days, anti-Balaka elements have systematically targeted MISCA vehicles and personnel in violation of international law, and by so doing identified themselves as spoilers and enemies of peace in the CAR. He stresses MISCA's continued determination to fully implement its mandate, including by neutralizing all illegal armed groups.
On behalf of the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the Special Representative conveys his deepest sympathy to the bereaved family of the fallen peacekeeper and to the Government and people of the Republic of the Congo. He wishes a speedy and complete recovery to the injured peacekeepers. The Special Representative notes with deep regret that as of today, 21 MISCA peacekeepers have fallen in the line of duty in the CAR.