Rabat – The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs has condemned an attack on Moroccan Blue Helmets in Bangassou a southeastern city in the Central African Republic (CAR) on Sunday, which killed one and injured three others, and said the perpetrators would face justice.
The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs affirmed their support for Morocco in a speech read by spokeswoman Agnès Romatet-Espagne on Monday, expressing both sympathy and support to the kingdom’s ongoing peacekeeping operations.
“We present our condolences to the family of the victim and the Moroccan authorities,” said Romatet-Espagne.
The death of the Moroccan United Nations (UN) peacekeeper, who was part of Morocco’s Royal Armed Forces contingent of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the CAR (MINUSCA), was the result of an ambush by the predominantly Christian militia Anti-Balaka on July 23, revealed the MINUSCA.
Three other peacekeepers were injured when the militia opened fire on the group of Moroccan soldiers,upon their return from a humanitarian mission escorting trucks filled with water to increase the water levels of the nearby Mbomouriver.
“This attack recalls the need to progress quickly in the effective implementation of disarmament of armed groups,” said Romatet-Espagne, who continued by highlighting local and international efforts to improve the situation in the CAR.
“France supports the efforts of Central African authorities, the African Union, and the countries and regional organizations in the context of the joint journey for peace and reconciliation in the CAR, adopted on July 17 in Libreville.”
In a statement shared on July 24, the UN mission also denounced the ambush and expressed condolences to the families of the victims.
Morocco’s ambassador to the UN, Omar Hilale, praised the Moroccan members of MINUSCA during a visit to Bangassou, on July 14. Hilale shared appreciation on behalf of himself and all UN members to those who work to restore peace, protect civilians and undertake actions benefiting the local society where they are stationed.
Since it was established in 2014, MINUSCA has deployed over 12,000 troops to the country to protect civilians, following concerns of the CAR’s “security, humanitarian, human rights, and political crisis.” Six Moroccan MINUSCA peacekeepers have been killed in CAR since 2015.