President of the African Union (AU) Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, has strongly condemned the despicable attacks on peacekeepers by armed assailants on 8 and 13 May 2017 in Bangassou in the south East of the Central African Republic (RCA).
The attacks, against the UN Integrated Multidimensional Mission for Stabilization in the CAR (MINUSCA), resulted in several fatalities and injuries among peacekeepers.
According to the UN mission, one peacekeeper of the Moroccan contingent died from gunshot injuries in the firefight, which continued into the morning of 13 May.
“The armed elements continue to systematically and deliberately attack the MINUSCA base with heavy weaponry to impede the peacekeepers from doing their extremely vital task of protecting the civilian population and to divert them from their primary vocation of saving lives,” the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the country, known by the French acronym MINUSCA, said in a statement.
The AU also strongly condemns acts of criminal violence targeting civilians in these areas, which have resulted in the loss of life and further displacement of populations.
Mahamat reaffirms the AU’s support to the Central African authorities, as well as its full solidarity with MINUSCA and the people of the Central African Republic in these difficult times.
“The AU commends the decisive action of MINUSCA and the Central African defense and internal security forces in securing institutions and in protecting people and property on the national territory and encourages them to persevere in their efforts,” Mahamat said, stressing the need for the continued mobilization of Africa and the international community as a whole in support of the stabilization and peace-building efforts in the Central African Republic.
“The AU will continue to work with the region, the United Nations and other international actors to help CAR overcome the multiple challenges it faces and to achieve a lasting peace that is so deeply sought Its populations,” Mahamat said.