A Rwandan peacekeeper was killed Monday in the Central African Republic during an attack by an armed group, a UN spokesman said, adding that three of the assailants had been killed.
"Earlier today, a Rwandan peacekeeper was killed when his unit was attacked by members of an unidentified armed group" during a patrol to protect the town of Sam-Ouandja, in the Haute -Kotto (east), said Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, "strongly condemning this attack".
The blue helmets of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) "retaliated and according to the initial information we received, three of the attackers were killed", he added.
The blue helmets were deployed at the beginning of July in Sam-Ouandja "in response to an attack on the town by an armed group which fled after an initial intervention by peacekeepers", according to him.
"Over the past five days, the mission has extended its security perimeter around the town to protect the community and support the safe delivery of humanitarian aid. "
The Blue Helmets will remain there, he added, adding that MINUSCA was in contact with the Central African authorities to strengthen the presence of national forces in this area.
At least 32 soldiers and police officers from UN peacekeeping missions were killed around the world in 2022, including four in the Central African Republic, according to figures from the UN staff union.
One of the poorest countries in the world, the Central African Republic has been in the grip of a civil war since 2013, when a coalition of predominantly Muslim armed groups, the Séléka, overthrew President François Bozizé. He then organized and armed so-called anti-balaka militias, mostly Christian and animist, to try to regain power.
" Instructors " from the Russian private paramilitary company Wagner are also present there to help secure the country, according to the ruling junta in Bamako.