United Nations : An Indian Colonel was injured in fresh firing in the troubled Malakal region in South Sudan, with the UN mission expressing concern over the incident and calling all parties to respect the sanctity of UN staff.
Sources here said the peacekeeper injured yesterday in the firing is an Indian Colonel but did not identify him. The peacekeeper was in stable condition after sustaining injuries by being hit by a bullet in the head. The attack comes days after India’s ambassador to the UN Asoke Mukerji had written to the UN Security Council President Lithuania envoy Raimonda Murmokaite expressing concern over the deteriorating situation in South Sudan. Mukerji had called on the UN Security Council to take urgent action to ensure there are no casualties and “collateral damage” to the Indian peacekeepers or to the UNMISS site.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric had told reporters at the briefing that the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) reported new firing outside of its compound in Malakal, in which one peacekeeper was injured. He, however, did not give any further information about the nationality of the peacekeeper.
“The mission is deeply concerned that despite the reassurances given by both parties such an incident occurred and reiterates its strong call on all parties to respect the sanity of un installations and staff,” Dujarric said.
When asked if the Secretary General aims to reinvigorate the peace process in the troubled nation and push for a political settlement to the conflict, Dujarric said the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) continues to be in the lead in the process. “We are supportive of that process…the violence on a daily basis, the horrendous impact on access to food that we have been flagging and the fact that more than a hundred thousand people are being sheltered in UN civilians compounds shows the immediate need for both the president and the opposition to sit around the table and put their differences aside and agree on a political settlement,” Dujarric said. India is among the top contributor of troops to UNMISS.
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