The UN Mission in South Sudan said a Bangladeshi peacekeeper was killed today in an armed attack on its convoy that was supporting the delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians in Yei River state.
Lieutenant Commander Ashraf Siddiqui is said to have been in a convoy led by Nepalese peacekeepers providing protection to humanitarian workers traveling from Yei to Lasu when several shots were fired at the group by unknown gunmen.
The Nepalese peacekeepers are said to have returned fire and the assailants retreated into the forest.
A statement by UNMISS last evening said, the peacekeeper was hit and died from his injuries shortly afterwards.
“I would like to express my sincere sympathy to the family, friends and colleagues of our fellow peacekeeper, Lieutenant Commander Ashraf Siddiqui, who was killed today,” said David Shearer, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan.
The UNMISS Head condemned the actions of the armed group and expressed deep regret at the tragic loss of life.
“It is a tragedy that he lost his life in such an appalling act of violence while working to help those in need and to protect the lives of others,” said Mr. Shearer.
He also said that peacekeepers and aid workers should be allowed to carry out their work freely and safely and not be subjected to senseless attacks.
Three weeks ago, UNMISS said its peacekeepers in the Unity region were also attacked by armed group.
A convoy consisting of peacekeepers and civilians came under fire when it stopped briefly to interact with a civilian in Rubkway, about 20 kilometers north of Leer town.
“Peacekeepers and aid workers should be able to carry out their work freely and safely and not be subjected to the kind of senseless attack we have witnessed today,” David Shearer added.
The UN Mission has often condemned attacks against its personnel, humanitarian workers and has called on all parties to respect the freedom of movement of UN personnel and to cooperate with the peacekeepers.
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