Targeted attack results in death of MINUSCA peacekeeper in Bria
One Mauritanian police member of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic, MINUSCA, was killed Monday morning in Bria, in the centre of the country, in an attack by anti-Balaka elements. Three other police peacekeepers – two Mauritanians and one Zambian – were slightly injured during the attack, which occurred at a MINUSCA police checkpoint at the entrance of Bria’s largest IDP camp, home to almost 35,000 people.
At approximately 8:30 a.m., an unknown number of anti-Balaka elements who were heavily armed with AK-47s and artisanal weapons attacked the checkpoint. MINUSCA military and police members and anti-Balaka elements engaged in intense exchanges of fire until 10 a.m.
As a result of the attack, the members of the Panel of Facilitators of the African Union-led Initiative for Peace and Reconciliation in CAR could not travel to Bria on Monday as initially planned in order to hold discussions with armed groups as part of their good offices mission.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of MINUSCA, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, strongly condemned this attack and stated that MINUSCA will do everything possible to ensure the perpetrators are identified and brought to justice. “MINUSCA is once again mourning one of its peacekeepers, killed while guarding the entrance of an IDP camp. The loss once again demonstrates the risks our peacekeepers face on a daily basis as part of their mission for peace and stability in the CAR,” said the SRSG.
Mr. Onanga-Anyanga extended his condolences to the family of the lost police member and to the people and the Government of Mauritania. He wishes a speedy recovery to those peacekeepers who were injured in the attack.
This killing brings to 14 the number of MINUSCA uniformed personnel who have lost their lives in hostile attacks in CAR since January 2017, in the course of carrying out their duties to help support sustainable peace and security in CAR.