The UN has strongly condemned the killing of five Indian peacekeepers in South Sudan, with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council demanding swift investigation to bring the perpetrators of the attack to justice.
Five Indian Army personnel, including a Lt Colonel were killed yesterday and four injured during a UN peacekeeping mission when their 32-member convoy was attacked in Gurmuck in the volatile state of Jonglei.
The 15-nation Security Council "condemned in the strongest terms" the attack by unidentified armed persons on a UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) convoy in Jonglei in which five Indian peacekeepers and at least seven civilians were killed, the world body said in a statement, yesterday.
Nine other persons were also injured in the attack, and some are in critical condition.
The UNSC members joined the UN chief in his call to the government of South Sudan to "swiftly investigate the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice".
Ban said he was "appalled" by the attack on the UN convoy and said killing of peacekeepers is a war crime that falls under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.
Ban also expressed his deepest condolences to the Indian government and to the families of the peacekeepers, staff members and contractors killed in the attack.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their full support for UNMISS and the troop contributing countries and called on all parties in South Sudan to cooperate with the mission.
UNMISS peacekeepers frequently patrol the area as part of an effort to provide protection to civilians, as well as providing armed escorts to humanitarian aid convoys.
"This attack will not deter UNMISS and its peacekeepers from working to protect vulnerable communities in South Sudan," Special Representative of the Secretary-General in South Sudan Hilde Johnson said.
"UNMISS is determined to continue its work in supporting authorities ensure peace," she said.