Bomb trap injures three Tanzanian peacekeepers

03Jan 2022
Central Africa Republic
The Guardian
Bomb trap injures three Tanzanian peacekeepers

THREE Tanzanian peacekeepers serving on the United Nations mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) were injured on Thursday when their vehicle struck an unidentified explosive device.

One of the soldiers was seriously hurt, evacuated to Bouar for treatment and then on to the capital, Bangui, the MINUSCA administrators said.

The ‘blue helmets’ were in the village of Batouri Bole, in Mambéré-Kadéï, in the southwest of the country, when the incident happened.

It took place around 11:00 a.m., local time, as their convoy left the town of Berbérati for the temporary military outposts in Gbambia and Amada-Gaza, located around 100 kilometers northeast of Berbérati.

MINUSCA has strongly condemned the use of explosive devices by armed groups in contested areas of CAR, which have already caused dozens of deaths and injuries among the civilian population.

Mankeur Ndiaye, a special representative of the UN Secretary-General and head of MINUSCA, wished for a speedy recovery of the wounded peacekeepers.

"Despite the difficult conditions our peacekeepers face on the ground, aggravated by the appearance of improvised explosive devices, MINUSCA remains resolutely determined to carry out its mandate for peace and stability," he said.

This incident was the third time that MINUSCA peacekeepers have fallen victim to explosive devices detonating beneath UN vehicles, the UN administrator noted.

Back in November, a rogue attack by elements of the presidential guard against a vehicle from the mission left ten unarmed Egyptian blue helmets injured in Bangui.

At the time, Secretary General António Guterres urged CAR authorities to spare no effort in investigating that “unacceptable attack” on unarmed peacekeepers.

More than 14,000 uniformed personnel serving with MINUSCA, which has been in the country since 2014, following an eruption the previous year of deadly inter-communal violence between mainly Christian and mainly Muslim militias, which destabilized his country

The government declared a unilateral ceasefire in October, and although much of the country remains in the grip of armed groups, positive steps have been made this year to strengthen democracy and the rule of law, observers noted.