UN peacekeeper from Bangladesh killed in South Sudan

June 26, 2018 - 12:45 pm

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — A United Nations peacekeeper was killed on Tuesday in South Sudan when a U.N. convoy was attacked.

Lieutenant Commander Ashraf Siddiqui from Bangladesh was part of a convoy protecting humanitarian workers traveling from Yei to Lasu in Central Equatoria province. Shots were fired by a group of unknown gunmen and Siddiqui died from his injuries shortly after, said the U.N.

An "appalling act of violence" took the peacekeeper's life, said the U.N.'s chief of peacekeeping in South Sudan, David Shearer.

"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," said Shearer.

The U.N. said it is concerned because this is the third attack on peacekeepers in a month. The two other attacks occurred in Unity State.

South Sudan's five-year civil war has killed tens of thousands and displaced millions. This recent incident comes during the country's latest push for peace as President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar met in Sudan on Monday during their second face-to-face meeting in two years. The first one took place last week in neighboring Ethiopia, led by the East Africa Bloc organizing the talks.

South Sudan's government condemned the killings and said that government soldiers are not necessarily to blame. "Guns aren't just by the government, they're by anywhere," South Sudan's government spokesman, Ateny Wek Ateny, told The Associated Press.

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