Thursday, September 05, 2019

WAR CRIME ALERT ICC 2016: 2 UN peacekeepers killed, 1 wounded

NOTE from Sudan Watch Editor: Here below are three news reports dated July 2016 about multiple UN peacekeepers being attacked, killed, injured in Juba, South Sudan. 

Troops even fired on a UN building in Juba. Was there a proper investigation, were those responsible for the attacks caught, put on trial and sentenced? If not, why not? 

Former UN chief Ban-Ki Moon is quoted as saying any attack on a peacekeeper constitutes a war crime and comes under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. Yellow highlighting is mine for quick future reference.

Article by Khmer Times
Dated 14 July 2016
Peacekeeper Injured in S. Sudan
Photo: Cambodian peacekeepers and doctors tend to the injured soldier in Juba

A United Nations peacekeeper from Cambodia was injured in gunfire on Sunday in Juba, South Sudan, according to the Cambodian National Center of Peacekeeping Forces. 

Major General Phal Samom, deputy director of the Cambodian National Center of Peacekeeping Forces, said yesterday one soldier serving in Cambodia’s peacekeeping force was injured. 

“We just confirmed that there is a soldier who was injured, but we did not receive more details on the injured soldier,” Maj. Gen. Samom said. “We will follow up with information and spread it publicly once we get more.” 

According to a Cambodian UN peacekeeper in South Sudan, the solder was only lightly wounded on his left arm during a firefight in the capital.  

Fighting broke out once again in South Sudan last week and escalated on Sunday when troops started firing on a UN building in Juba. 

Since its creation in 2011, South Sudan has been embroiled in fighting between the country’s president, Salva Kiir, and his deputy, Riek Machar. President Kiir claims Mr. Machar attempted a coup d’etat against him, and despite repeated attempts to hammer out a peace accord, both sides continue to fight.

Troops loyal to both men have killed hundreds of soldiers and civilians in the recent fighting despite calls from both President Kiir and Mr. Machar for calm. Both men appeared together on national television earlier this week to implore rebel groups to put down their arms, to no avail.

Two Chinese UN peacekeeping troops were killed in an attack on Sunday in Juba. Their armored vehicle was hit by a mortar shell, according to the South China Morning Post.  

The fighting over the last four years has killed more than 300,000 civilians and forced almost two million people to flee their homes.

About 150 Cambodian troops are serving under the UN umbrella as peacekeepers in South Sudan, according to the Cambodian National Center of Peacekeeping Forces.

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Article from UN News
Dated 14 July 2016
Cambodian peacekeepers treat South Sudan wounded

As a ceasefire in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, appears to be holding, doctors at a United Nations hospital there continue to treat people wounded during six days of clashes between rival forces.

More than 270 people died as a result of the fighting, including two UN peacekeepers from China.

Dianne Penn reports on a hospital ran by Cambodian peacekeepers at the UN Mission in the country, UNMISS, which has been helping the injured get back on their feet.

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Article from Phnom Penh
Dated 14 July 2016 06:48 ICT
Cambodian peacekeeper injured by bullet in South Sudan
Photo: A United Nations peacekeeper stands at the UN compound in Juba earlier this week, where heavy fighting has seen multiple peacekeepers injured in recent days. AFP / UNMISS

A member of Cambodia’s UN peacekeeping team in South Sudan has suffered a gunshot wound, and while senior military officials say the incident was not related to the rapidly deteriorating security situation in the civil war-torn country, there are conflicting reports as to what happened.

Phal Samorn, deputy director general of the National Centre for Peacekeeping Forces, Mines and Explosive Remnants of War, said the Cambodian peacekeeper was hit by a bullet that had been fired into the sky during South Sudan’s independence day celebrations. “Rith Virak, who is a member of the RCAF, sustained light injuries to his left hand,” Samorn said.

Ministry of Defence spokesman Chhum Socheat also said the peacekeeper was injured during a celebration and the gunshot wound was not due to the ongoing fighting. He added the Cambodian peacekeepers are not in “clear danger”.

“This was an accident and it was not in war,” he said. “We have them far away from the war zone.”

However, an official at the centre, who asked to remain anonymous, said Virak was injured by bullets from the fighting in Juba between soldiers of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army and the opposition.

He said Virak was outside guarding the Cambodian military camp on July 7 when he was injured.

Two Chinese UN peacekeepers were recently killed in the conflict. The Kingdom currently has 153 peacekeepers stationed in South Sudan.

Additional reporting by Vong Sokheng 
Contact author: Bun Sengkong


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