Africa

Woman dead, 10 peacekeepers wounded after presidential guard open fire in CAR

‘Deliberate and unspeakable attack that nothing justifies,’ UN mission says

Aurore Bonny   | 02.11.2021
Woman dead, 10 peacekeepers wounded after presidential guard open fire in CAR

DOUALA, Cameroon

The presidential guard in the Central African Republic fired at a bus carrying Egyptian peacekeepers that then hit and killed a woman near the presidential residence, the UN mission said Tuesday.

"Arriving on November 1 at Bangui M'Poko International Airport, as part of the periodic rotation and deployment of troops in the Central African Republic (CAR), and in the direction of their base, the elements of the Egyptian Formed Police Unit came under heavy fire from the presidential guard without prior summons or any response, while they were unarmed," according to a statement from the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).

It said the bus hit and killed the woman while it was trying to maneuver from the area, which is about 120 meters (394 feet) from the presidential residence.

It said the immediate opening of a necessary investigation in partnership with members of the CAR government was needed to "draw all the legal consequences of the incident."

It was a "deliberate and unspeakable attack that nothing justifies," it said.

The death comes days before the expected renewal MINUSCA mandate, which has been deployed since 2014 in a country plagued by socio-political and security crises.

A report by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres released Oct. 12, noted violations of the status of forces agreement between the UN and the government involving national defense forces and security personnel.

Guterres cited also cited road harassment by national defense forces, pre-trial detentions by internal security forces and coordinated disinformation campaigns on social media, mostly from pro-power party platforms and individuals, targeting the UN and MINUSCA.

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