Peacekeepers Bring Death to Mission
The Central African Republic (C.A.R.) is currently enduring violence between its Christian and Muslim groups following the 2013 coup d’état that overthrew President Francois Bozize. The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) deployed UN peacekeepers, “blue helmets”, to ultimately end the violence. There are about 800 blue helmets in the CAR (Reuters). Despite their efforts, the peacekeepers are enduring violence of their own.
A Rwandan blue helmet has killed four of his colleagues at a battalion base in Bangui. According to the UN mission in the Central African Republic, the Rwandan peacekeeper also injured eight other colleagues before being killed by the Rwandan Defence Force (Reuters). The UN has started an investigation into the incident in order to find out the motive. Spokesman Brigadier General Joseph Nzabmwita had this to say regarding the investigation: “We suspect terrorism, without ruling out mental illness as the cause” (Reuters).
According to Amnesty International, UN peacekeepers were involved in the rape of a 12 year old girl and killed two civilians. The civilians have been identified as 16-year-old Souleimane Hadji and his 61-year-old father Balla Hadji (Yahoo!).
Amnesty International did a thorough investigation into the rape incident, interviewing the 12-year-old girl. The incident occurred on August 2, when the peacekeeper forced himself on the girl behind a truck. “When I cried, he slapped me hard and put his hand over my mouth,” the girl told Amnesty International (Yahoo!).
MINUSCA orginally said they were “not aware” of the allegations by Amnesty International (Yahoo!). Since then, UN-Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and MIUNUSCA have said they are considering the two incidents “very seriously”.
by Leo Wiltshire