UN probes deadly shooting of Rwandan peacekeepers in CAR

2015-08-09 19:25


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Bangui - The UN said on Sunday it is investigating a shooting rampage that left five Rwandan peacekeepers dead in the Central African Republic (CAR), in what Kigali said appeared to be a terrorist act.

The UN mission here, known by its French acronym MINUSCA, issued a statement describing the shooting on Saturday at the Rwandan contingent's base in the capital Bangui as an "unprecedented incident since the start of the [CAR] mission in 2014”.

"MINUSCA has opened an investigation to determine the circumstances and the motive" of the shooting, it said.

In the rampage, one of the peacekeepers opened fire on his fellow soldiers, killing four of them and injuring eight before he himself was killed.

In Kigali, the Rwandan defence ministry pointed to terrorism as the possible motive for the rampage.

"Investigations so far point toward terrorism to be the motive behind this deplorable act, as evidence so far reveals," said spokesperson Brigadier General Joseph Nzabamwita without elaborating.

The defence ministry statement also hailed the Rwandan soldiers for having "engaged the assailant soldier, killing him and saving the lives of other RDF [Rwandan army] peacekeepers."

It added that the eight other soldiers injured in the shooting were being treated in hospital and were not in critical condition.

The deadly shooting was the worst such incident to hit the UN peacekeeping mission in the poor former French colony since it was deployed in September last year following inter-religious clashes that claimed thousands of lives.

The unrest was spurred by a 2013 coup that ousted president Francois Bozize and then pushed the country into a conflict that took on a religious dimension, pitting sections of Christian and Muslim populations against one another.

Largely Christian "anti-balaka" - or anti-machete - militias were formed to avenge atrocities by the Seleka rebels who were behind the coup, resulting in waves of killing, rape and pillaging.

The CAR is set to hold elections in October, but the polls have already been pushed back three times as the country grapples with its worst crisis since independence in 1960.

The MINUSCA force comprises 10 800 troops drawn from Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Rwanda, Morocco, Senegal, Pakistan and Indonesia.

Read more on:    rwanda  |  central african republic  |  central africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.