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UN: 10 unarmed peacekeepers shot by CAR presidential guard

November 2, 2021

The peacekeepers were shot after their arrival in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic. The UN said that the incident "appeared to be a deliberate and unspeakable attack."

UN armored personnel keeping guard in Bangui, CAR
The UN started a peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic in 2014Image: Antonie Rolland/REUTERS

Ten unarmed Egyptian peacekeepers were injured by shots fired from presidential guards in the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR) on Tuesday, the UN said.

What do we know so far?

The UN said the shooting in Bangui "appeared to be a deliberate and unspeakable attack." 

The peacekeepers were from the UN Mission to the Central African Republic, which is known by the acronym MINUSCA. It said in its statement that two of the peacekeepers had suffered serious wounds.

The UN said the peacekeepers "came under heavy fire from the presidential guard without prior warning."

MINUSCA spokesman Vladimir Monteiro said the peacekeepers were heading towards their base in a bus clearly marked "with UN initials." As the bus attempted to leave the area near the presidential residence, the vehicle had struck and killed a woman. 

The Central African Republic's defense ministry is expected to issue a statement about the incident later on Tuesday.

Rehabilitating child soldiers

Why is there a UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic?

MINUSCA began its peacekeeping operations to protect civilians in the Central African Republic in 2014. The landlocked nation is one of the most impoverished countries in the world and has witnessed a civil war between various militia groups since December 2012.

President Faustin Archange Touadera announced a ceasefire with armed groups in the country last month, with the move commended by the UN. Touadera called for a national dialogue over the country's future, but opposition parties rejected the talks. 

The UN has also recently expressed concern over human rights abuses committed by Russian mercenaries in the country.

wd/msh (Reuters, AFP)