Ten Egyptian blue helmets from the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) were wounded by shots fired by the presidential guard in Bangui, the UN reported on Tuesday.
The UN called the incident, which took place on Monday, as “a deliberate and unspeakable attack” against a contingent of Egyptian police who was unarmed at the time and traveling in a bus marked as UN.
Members of Egypt’s Constituent Police Unit “were intensely attacked by the presidential guard without warning or response, while 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 “struck a woman who lost her life,” MINUSCA said, adding that it had “offered its condolences to the victim’s family” who visited her later that day.
Members of the police unit had arrived early Monday at Bangui airport as part of a regular rotation and troop deployment to the Central African Republic. They were heading towards their base in a bus clearly marked “with the initials of the UN,” said Vladimir Monteiro, a MINUSCA spokesman.
The Central African Republic is the second poorest country in the world, according to UN figures, and since 2013 it has been devastated by a civil war, although the level of fighting has decreased since 2018.