Central African Republic: Three UN peacekeepers killed, fourth injured following helicopter crash
New York: Three peacekeepers were killed and a fourth was severely injured after a helicopter crashed on Friday morning local time, in the west of the Central African Republic, the UN mission to the country (MINUSCA) has confirmed.
The four crew members onboard were all part of the Senegalese ‘blue helmets’ contingent, flying a Mi-24 helicopter providing air support to an ongoing MINUSCA security operation in Nana-Mabere province, before they were reportedly forced to make an emergency landing due to bad weather, near Bouar, not far from the Cameroon border.
Secretary-General António Guterres offered his “heartfelt condolences to the families of the peacekeepers, as well as to the Government and people of Senegal” in a statement issued in New York by his Spokesperson.
“He wishes a speedy recover to the injured” and “reaffirms the commitment of the United Nations to supporting the people and Government of CAR in their efforts to consolidate peace”, the statement continued.
The surviving peacekeeper is in critical condition and was due to be evacuated to a hospital for emergency treatment, MINUSCA said in a statement.
UN Special Representative and Head of the Mission, Mankeur Ndiaye, said the incident “is another example of the risks that peacekeepers face in their engagement on the ground, often at risk of their lives.”
MINUSCA currently has nearly 13,000 uniformed personnel serving the country’s five-year-old peacekeeping mission, aiming to restore security, and provide support for human rights efforts, following years of political upheaval.
Photo caption and credit:
MINUSCA /Hervé Serefio
The Air Force Squadron of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic, MINUSCA