Ten Egyptian peacekeepers from the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) were wounded by fire from the presidential guard in Bangui, the UN said on Tuesday.
The UN called the incident, which took place on Monday, a “deliberate and unspeakable attack” on an Egyptian police contingent who was unarmed at the time and was traveling in a bus marked UN.
Members of the Egyptian Constituent Police Unit “came under heavy fire from the presidential guard without warning or response, even though they were unarmed,” the UN said.
The incident occurred about 120 meters (yards) from the presidential residence, the UN added. In its attempt to leave the area, the bus “hit a woman who lost her life,” MINUSCA said, adding that it “offered condolences to the victim’s family” visited later in the day.
Members of the police unit had arrived at Bangui airport earlier Monday as part of a periodic rotation and deployment of troops to CAR. They were heading towards their base in a bus clearly marked “with the initials of the UN,” said Vladimir Monteiro, spokesman for MINUSCA.
CAR is the second poorest country in the world, according to UN figures, and since 2013 has been ravaged by civil war, although the level of fighting has declined since 2018.