MINUSCA condemned the “cowardly” attack by the UPC and anti-balakas members.
Rabat – An ambush has claimed the lives of a Moroccan and Gabonese UN peacekeepers 17 kilometers from Bangassou, Central African Republic (CAR).
The United Nations Stabilization Mission in CAR (MINUSCA) announced the news on Monday. The mission said that the death of the two peacekeepers is the result of an ambush of their convoy by elements of the coalition Union for Peace in CAR (UPC) and Anti-balakas armed groups.
Mankeur Ndiaye, the special representative of the UN Secretary General in CAR and Head of MINUSCA, strongly condemned the “cowardly attack.”
The UN mission accused UPC and Anti-balaka members of launching the attack against the peacekeepers.
“MINUSCA will work with the Central African authorities so that the perpetrators and accomplices of these war crimes are arrested and held accountable for their acts before justice.”
The UN official also paid tribute to the peacekeepers, offering condolences to their families.
Ndiaye extended his and the UN’s condolences to the governments of Gabon and Morocco.
He reiterated MINUSCA’s commitment to continue to carry out its mission to protect civilians and secure elections in the African country.
The UN mission reassured that the security situation is calm and residents are starting to return to their homes.
“However, the MINUSCA Force remains on alert to prevent any action by armed groups targeting the civilian population, state authority and peacekeepers or the return of rebels to Bangassou,” the statement concluded.”
Moroccan peacekeepers in CAR
Morocco’s government is committed to securing peace and stability in the Central African Republic by sending Moroccan peacekeepers to help MINUSCA in its mission.
The North African country was the first country to send peacekeepers to CAR upon the outbreak of civil war. Rabat made the decision to contribute to restoring peace in the country even before the UN launched its peace mission.
More than 750 Moroccan men and women are currently deployed as part of the UN mission.
Morocco’s government has long expressed satisfaction with its leading role in promoting peace in the CAR.
Morocco has always been on the side of its “sister” country, CAR, and maintains a “dense and varied cooperation relationship” with the African country, the Moroccan foreign minister Nasser Bourita said in 2019.
Since the founding of the UN, Morocco has sent 60,000 soldiers on peacekeeping missions in 147 operations across the world.
Over the years, the UN has repeatedly paid tribute to Moroccan peacekeepers, especially those killed in the line of duty in ambushes and terror attacks.