Chinese UN peacekeeper killed in escalating fighting in South Sudan

Casualties among UN peacekeepers including the death of a Chinese blue helmet occurred during the renewed fighting in South Sudan’s capital Juba on Sunday, a spokeswoman with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has confirmed.

“The casualties involved one Chinese and Rwandese,” deputy spokesperson Shantel Persaud told Xinhua on Monday without disclosing the name of the victim.

The Chinese blue helmet was killed on duty at the UNMISS Jebel base, while several other Rwandese peacekeepers were critically injured at the Tomping base near the airport, she said.

She described the fighting on Sunday as “intensive,” and condemned the fresh violence in Juba that she said caused panic among civilians.
The UNMISS reported some 1,000 internally displaced people fled from one of the UNMISS protection of civilians sites to its compounds in Jebel, which suffered small arms and heavy weapons fire.

The UNMISS has run six such sites in various parts of Juba in the past two years, accommodating nearly 170,000 people seeking safety.
The UN Security Council on Sunday issued a statement that “condemned in the strongest terms the escalation of fighting in Juba, South Sudan that started on July 7.”

With sympathies and condolences to the families of Chinese and Rwandan peacekeepers killed or injured in the attacks, it expressed “particular shock and outrage” at the attacks on UN compounds and protection of civilians sites in Juba.

Report says a UN peacekeeper from China was killed and six others were injured when the armoured vehicle carrying them was hit by a shell during a mission in Juba, capital of South Sudan, according to China’s Ministry of National Defence.

The incident happened on Sunday evening local time as fighting between government and anti-government forces continued in Juba.

South Sudan’s Health Ministry has confirmed 271 people were killed in Friday’s clashes between rival army factions outside the presidential palace in the capital Juba and there is renewed heavy fighting on Sunday.

In a statement, the Health Ministry said those killed included 32 civilians, 5 police officers, 44 government troops and 190 soldiers of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO) led by Vice President Riek Machar.
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