Six UN police wounded in fresh CAR fighting

UN patrol monitoring a protest near the airport is fired on in the capital after a week of deadly battles.

    Six UN police wounded in fresh CAR fighting
    The shootings on Friday followed an attack on a UN convoy on Thursday that killed a Pakistani peacekeeper [AP]

    An armed group fired at a United Nations police patrol monitoring a protest near the airport in the capital of the Central African Republic, wounding six constables, a UN peacekeeping official has said.

    The wounded were evacuated by the peacekeeping mission, known as MINUSCA, a UN official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak publicly

    The shootings on Friday followed an attack on a UN convoy in Bangui on Thursday that killed a Pakistani peacekeeper.

    It was the first death of a peacekeeper since the UN took over efforts to calm months of unprecedented violence between Christians and Muslims from an African Union force in September. Another peacekeeper was wounded and several others were slightly injured in that attack, all from Pakistan or Bangladesh.

    Earlier on Friday, the UN Security Council condemned Thursday's attack on the convoy "in the strongest terms'' and underlined that attacks targeting peacekeepers "may constitute a war crime''.

    The Security Council also reiterated its resolve to impose sanctions on individuals and groups involved in planning, directing, sponsoring, or conducting attacks against the UN mission and other security forces. They have called on Central African authorities to condemn the attack, swiftly investigate, and bring the perpetrators to justice.

    The Central African Republic has been devastated by months of violence that has killed at least 5,000 people and sent thousands of Muslims fleeing the country.

    The UN has called on all armed groups to immediately implement a July 23 ceasefire agreement.

    More troops needed

    But the violence that broke out in Bangui this week is said to be the worst since the UN force took over.

    UN Security Council members have reiterated their support for transitional President Catherine Samba-Panza. That support comes after nearly 300 unarmed youths occupied the runway at the airport in Bangui on Friday to demand her resignation. 

    The Security Council in April authorised a nearly 12,000-strong peacekeeping force for the Central African Republic to replace the AU force.

    But when the UN took over peacekeeping duties on September 15, its strength was only 7,500, including 4,800 African troops and 1,000 international police from the previous mission and about 1,700 new troops and police.

    The Security Council has called for additional measures to improve the safety and security of all MINUSCA and associated personnel.

    SOURCE: AP


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