S. Sudan peace monitors call for arrest of UN peacekeeper killers

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir.
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir. 

South Sudan peace monitors have called for the swift arrest of those behind the killing of a Bangladeshi peacekeeper.

The peacekeeper died during an attack on a UN convoy that was escorting humanitarian aid to vulnerable civilians in the Central Equatorian region.

Festus Mogae, chairman of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), condemned the attack on the UN Mission in South Sudan and aid workers in Yei River State on Tuesday that resulted in the death of Lt. Commander Ashraf Siddiqui, Bangladeshi Military Liaison Officer.

“Violators must be identified and made to face the law,” Mogae said in a statement released on Wednesday evening in Juba.

The former Botswana leader called on the government and the leadership of all warring parties to ensure that UN agencies and all humanitarian providers have unimpeded access and can operate safely and freely in the country.

He warned that individuals who directly or indirectly engage in attacks against UN or humanitarian personnel are violating the ceasefire agreements on resolution of the conflict.

The Bangladeshi peacekeeper was part of a convoy led by Nepalese peacekeepers providing protection to humanitarian workers travelling from Yei to Lasu when armed attackers fired several shots at the group.

Mogae, who regretted the tragic loss of the life, called upon the government and all warring parties operating in the area of this latest killing to bring the perpetrators of this cowardly attack to justice.

This is but the most recent example of several disturbing trends. It is the third attack against UNMISS Peacekeepers since May 3, 2018, said Mogae.

According to the UN, six humanitarian aid workers have lost their lives and 384 access incidents have been reported so far this year.