The four crew members onboard were all part of the Senegalese contingent, flying a Mi-24 helicopter providing air support to an ongoing MINUSCA security operation in Nana-Mabere province, before they were reportedly forced to make an emergency landing due to bad weather, near Bouar, not far from the Cameroon border.
Secretary-General António Guterres offered his “heartfelt condolences to the families of the peacekeepers, as well as to the Government and people of Senegal” in a statement issued in New York by his Spokesperson.
He “reaffirms the commitment of the United Nations to supporting the people and Government of CAR in their efforts to consolidate peace”, the statement continued.
UN Special Representative and Head of the Mission, Mankeur Ndiaye, said the incident “is another example of the risks that peacekeepers face in their engagement on the ground, often at risk of their lives.”
MINUSCA currently has nearly 13,000 uniformed personnel serving the country’s five-year-old peacekeeping mission, aiming to restore security, and provide support for human rights efforts, following years of political upheaval.