UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Safety Council condemned killings and assaults in opposition to U.N. peacekeepers within the strongest phrases Monday and referred to as for immediate prosecution of these accountable.
The council underscored the crucial significance of security and safety for the U.N.’s greater than 90,000 peacekeepers serving in 12 missions from Congo, South Sudan and Mali to the Center East and India-Pakistan.
It stated Secretary-Basic Antonio Guterres and international locations contributing troops and police to peacekeeping operations ought to work collectively to make sure that peacekeepers have sufficient sources and are geared up and educated to mitigate threats, together with from landmines, explosive remnants of conflict and improvised explosive gadgets.
The Chinese language-drafted presidential assertion was authorised by all 15 council members at an open assembly the place U.N. peacekeeping chief Jean-Pierre Lacroix stated peacekeeping missions function “in complicated environments the place they face an growing variety of assaults in opposition to their personnel by hostile actors.”
Since Jan. 1, Lacroix stated, 15 peacekeepers misplaced their lives “as a result of malicious acts.”
“Along with hostile environments and direct assaults, points associated to peacekeeper security, equivalent to automobile accidents and diseases, are additionally inflicting fatalities, and may considerably have an effect on the power of peacekeepers to ship on their mandated duties,” Lacroix stated.
“In 2020, for instance, 13 peacekeepers misplaced their lives to violent acts, in comparison with 15 as a result of accidents and 81 as a result of sickness,” he stated. “This has, after all, been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Lacroix stated expertise has enhanced the preparedness and capabilities of peacekeepers, together with early warning programs and drones.
The U.N. has additionally made progress supporting international locations that host peacekeeping forces of their efforts to convey perpetrators of crimes in opposition to peacekeepers to justice. he stated. As examples, six individuals have been convicted in Central African Republic in early 2020 and in March 2021 one particular person was convicted and eight others have been convicted and sentenced in absentia, he stated.
However Lacroix stated, “Regardless of the progress made, many components proceed to impede the security and safety of our peacekeepers on the bottom.”
He referred to as for the deployment of uniformed peacekeepers “with out caveats” on their actions that undermine the security and safety of different peacekeepers “and the efficiency of our operations.”
He urged international locations to deploy commanding officers “with important operational expertise,” certified navy intelligence personnel and extra feminine peacekeepers.
Lacroix additionally stated international locations ought to present sufficient tools, particularly armed and utility helicopters, medically geared up plane and forward-operating medical groups, fast response items and mine-protected autos “in addition to aerial intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.”