The United Nations said it lost two more peacekeepers from Gabon and Morocco, during an ambush by rebels in the Central African Republic (CAR) on Monday.
This brings to four the number of UN peacekeepers killed since Jan. 13 in the troubled country where rebels are fighting to take control of the capital, Bangui.
In all, nine UN peacekeepers have died in “hostile incidents” around the world this year, according to Mr Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman to the Secretary-General.
“While progress has been made in reducing casualties among United Nations peacekeepers, recent incidents show that the threats continue.
“Our collective efforts to ensure the safety of peacekeepers, including through the Action for Peacekeeping initiative, need to keep pace,” Dujarric said in a statement.
The Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, strongly condemned the latest incident, and expressed condolences to the families, governments and fellow citizens of the affected peacekeepers.
He also restated his concerns over the escalation of violence in CAR, and sued for peace.
The UN chief urged all parties to immediately cease hostilities and engage in dialogue to advance the political process, “preserve fragile gains and fulfill the country’s aspiration for lasting peace”.
Reacting, President of the GeneraI Assembly, Amb, Volkan Bozkir, said he was “appalled” by the killings.
“They need our support,” Bozkir said in a tweet on Tuesday.(NAN)