UN condemns killing of Bangladeshi peacekeeper in South Sudan

The UN mission has condemned the killing of a Bangladeshi peacekeeper in an armed attack on convoy in South Sudan on Tuesday.

David Shearer, head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), said Commander Ashraf Siddiqui, a Bangladeshi Military Liaison Officer, was killed during the attack on a UN convoy that was escorting humanitarian aid to vulnerable civilians in the Central Equatorian region.

“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,” Shearer said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

He said the deceased 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.

Shearer regretted at the tragic loss of life and condemned the actions of the armed group.

“Lieutenant Commander Ashraf Siddiqui was hit and died from his injuries shortly afterwards. The Nepalese peacekeepers immediately returned fire and the assailants retreated into the forest,” Shearer said.

He said peacekeepers and humanitarian workers should be able to carry out their work freely and safely and not be subjected to the kind of senseless attack that happened on Tuesday.

About seven million people are estimated to be severely food insecure in South Sudan, where already several thousands of people may be facing famine conditions, according to a report issued by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network.