United Nations: The UN Security Council has condemned a cross-firing last month in South Sudan’s troubled Malakal town that injured one Indian peacekeeper and three civilians, calling on the government to swiftly investigate and bring the perpetrators to justice.
The 15-member Council, in a press statement issued here yesterday, expressed their grave concern over the security and humanitarian situation in South Sudan. The statement noted the May 28 exchange of gunfire into the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Protection of Civilians site in Malakal by Sudan People’s Liberation Army soldiers, “resulting in the injury of three civilians and one UNMISS peacekeeper”.
Lt Col Krovvidi Dinakar was injured during the firing. He had received a graze bullet injury in the vertex of his head but was in stable condition. The UNSC statement, however, did not mention the identity of the peacekeeper.
It asked the Government of South Sudan to “immediately take steps to ensure the safety of all civilians and UNMISS Protection of Civilian sites in South Sudan, to swiftly investigate these incidents, and to bring the perpetrators of these egregious acts to justice.”
“In this regard, they underlined their willingness to impose sanctions against those who threaten the peace, security or stability of South Sudan”, as established in the UNSC resolution.
India had voiced its concern over the deteriorating situation in South Sudan just days before the firing incident. India’s Ambassador to the UN Asoke Mukerji had on May 20 and 22 written to the Security Council President Lithuania envoy Raimonda Murmokaite expressing concern over the deteriorating situation in South Sudan.
Mukerji had said that it is extremely important for the 15-nation Council to take “urgent action” to prevent any casualties and collateral damage with regard to Indian troops and internally displaced personnel.
India is among the top contributor of troops to the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). The Council also expressed concern over South Sudan’s May 29 decision to expel the UN Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General/Resident Coordinator/ Toby Lanzer.
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