One Rwandan peacekeeper was killed and eight others wounded in Bangui, Central African Republic (CAR) during an exchange of fire with armed elements on Tuesday, April 10.
The incident followed a joint operation launched on Sunday, 8 April by the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) and the Central African forces and police.
The offensive is aimed at disarming and arresting heavily armed criminal groups which had sealed off some part of the capital Bangui, according to a Statement attributable to Stéphane Dujarric, the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General of United Nations,
Lt Col. Innocent Munyengango, the Military and Defense spokesperson confirmed to The New Times that the deceased member of Rwanda’s contingent in the MINUSCA at the rank of Sargent.
“They (Rwandan Peacekeepers) had been deployed to rescue civilians who had been attacked by the armed elements in a place called PK5—a city suburb in Bangui. Our forces managed to stop the fight and rescued civilians but unfortunately one of our soldiers lost his life and 8 were injured,”
Munyengango also added that the wounded soldiers are “recovering well.”
“The Secretary-General offers his deepest condolences to the family of the bereaved, as well as to the Government of Rwanda, and wishes a swift recovery to the injured,” the statement reads in part.
According to Dujarric, the Secretary-General also recalls that attacks against United Nations peacekeepers may constitute a war crime and calls on the Central African Republic authorities to investigate them and swiftly bring those responsible to justice.
The UN reiterated the determination of the stabilization mission to protect civilians and contribute to the stabilization of the Central African Republic.
Rwanda maintains 986 peacekeepers in Central African Republic and these include an infantry battalion, a mechanized company and a Level 2 Military Hospital.