By Deng Machol
The UNMISS said its convoy was attacked by armed groups in the Central Equatorian region of South Sudan today while supporting the delivery of humanitarian aid to vulnerable civilians in the areas.
A killed peacekeeper was identified as Bangladeshi peacekeeper, Military Liaison Officer, Lieutenant Commander Ashraf Siddiqui, who was part of a convoy led by Nepalese peacekeepers providing protection to humanitarian workers travelling from Yei to Lasu areas.
According to the statement, Lieutenant Commander Siddiqui was hit by bullet from unknown gunmen and died shortly afterwards from his injuries.
However, the Nepalese peacekeepers immediately returned fire and the assailants retreated into the forest.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, David Shearer, expressed his deep regret at the tragic loss of life and condemned the actions of the armed group.
“I would like to express my sincere sympathy to the family, friends and colleagues of our fellow peacekeeper, Lieutenant Commander Ashraf Siddiqui, who was killed today,” said David Shearer.
“It is a tragedy that he lost his life in such an appalling act of violence while working to help those in need and to protect the lives of others.”
“Peacekeepers and aid workers should be able to carry out their work freely and safely and not be subjected to the kind of senseless attack we have witnessed today.”
Many peacekeepers has been reportedly killed in South Sudan.
This attacks comes as South Sudan President Kiir and his former vice president Dr. Machar, turned rebel in 2013 are in face – face meeting in Khartoum, Sudan in any efforts to ending the four and half conflict, that has killed ten thousands people and displaced 2.5 million people from their homes.
UN mission in South Sudan is hosting thousands of vulnerable civilians’ seeking protection in its base across the country.
President Kiir and rebel leaderMachar signed IGAd broker deal in August 2015 but fragile peace deal collapsed in July 2016, followed renewed deadly fighting between forces loyal to president Kiir and rebel leader Machar at presidential palace in Juba, forced Machar fled a country second time.
This has resulted to formation of rebel factions across the country. Several ceasefire has been signed by the warring parties but break within a day.