UN: UN chief condemns killing of peacekeeper in Central African Republic

New York, US (PANA) - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the killing of a peacekeeper from the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) following a confrontation with armed elements in the town of Batangafo, amid ongoing violence in the strife-torn country where elections  are set to take place before the end of the year.

In a statement issued in New York, Ban condemned the killing of the
"blue helmet" serving with MINUSCA, in Batangafo, located 400 kilometres north of
the capital, Bangui.

"Following an outbreak of violence between armed anti-Balaka and ex-Seleka elements
at an internally displaced persons camp in Batangafo, ex-Seleka elements confronted
MINUSCA troops at a nearby MINUSCA checkpoint," according to the statement, which said that during the incident, one peacekeeper went missing and was subsequently found dead.

The UN chief deplored, in the strongest terms, any attacks against UN peacekeepers,
and called for swift action to bring the perpetrators of this crime to justice.

Ban also strongly condemned the ongoing fighting in CAR and reiterated his call
for all armed groups to immediately lay down their weapons and refrain from violence.

He underscored the importance of creating an environment conducive to the holding
of elections in line with the calendar announced by the National Electoral Authority
to complete the country's transition and bring sustainable peace and stability to
Central African Republic.

He reiterated that MINUSCA will take all necessary measures in line with its
mandate to protect civilians and foster stability, and further offered his sincere
condolences to the family of the victim and to the Government of Cameroon.

The UN mission had reported earlier that the National Electoral Authority
on Monday announced that the constitutional referendum will take place on 13
December and the first round of presidential and legislative elections will be held
on 27 December. A second round of elections, if necessary, will be conducted on
31 January 2016.

MINUSCA, which was set up in April 2014 to help bring peace, after a breakdown
of governmental authority and vicious inter-communal fighting between mainly
the Muslim Seleka group and the mainly Christian anti-Balaka movement,
currently maintains nearly 11,000 uniformed personnel in the country.

A crisis was sparked in the capital, Bangui, on 26 September, when
according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA),
violent clashes erupted between the residents of PK5 in Bangui's 3rd district
and the 5th district after the death of a young Muslim taxi motorcyclist.

The violence left dozens of people dead and several injured. Houses were
looted in other neighbourhoods and many burned, while thousands of people
have fled the areas with heightened tension to seek refuge mostly with host
families and in displacement sites.
-0-   PANA   AA/AR   11Nov2015

11 november 2015 13:49:13

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