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In S. Sudan, India Tells Press 2 Peacekeepers Killed, 1 Critical, Accountability?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 19 -- From South Sudan, the Indian mission at the UN in New York has been informed that two of its peacekeepers in Akobo were killed, and an additional peacekeeper is in critical condition.

  The UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations has said nothing yet. But India's Permanent Representative Asoke Mukerji reminded Inner City Press that on the day he presented his credentials and began at the UN, five Indian peacekeepers were killed in South Sudan.

  In this instance, there were 40 peacekeepers in the base in Akobo -- and civilians, on which Inner City Press aims to report more. Some 1500 youths, said to be of the Lou Nuer tribe supportive of ousted Vice President Riek Machar, "fired indiscriminately" at the UN base.

  Mukerji called for the prosecutions of those who kill peacekeepers. He separately reminded Inner City Press of the ruling of the previous UN Legal Counsel Patricia O'Brien that with the Force Intervention Brigade on the Democratic Republic of the Congo - and now with peacekeepers in Mali shooting at civilians and co-housing with France's Serval force -- UN peacekeepers are becoming combatants, parties to armed conflict.

  Murkerji said that troop contributing countries should be told this. This would seem to be the job of the chief of UN Peacekeeping Herve Ladsous (who says he "has a policy" of not answering Press questions) and of the President of the Security Council.

  This month that is France's Gerard Araud, who left a December 19 Peacekeeping seminar before the moment of silence, tweeted by Inner City Press, for the Indian peacekeepers. Most recently he refused to answer specific questions about intermingling with Serval making UN peacekeepers combatants, calling it micro-management and chiding the question.

We are endeavoring to find out more about the killings in South Sudan, and for accountability. So far, without any assistance or transparency from Ladsous' UN Peacekeeping. Watch this site.


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