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3 Tanzanian peacekeepers injured in IED blast in Central African Republic

Tanzanian women peacekeepers in the North Kivu town of Beni (Photo: UN News)

Three Tanzanian peacekeepers serving on the United Nations' mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) were injured on Thursday when their vehicle struck an unidentified explosive device.

One of the soldiers was seriously hurt, and needed to be evacuated to Bouar for treatment and then on to the capital, Bangui, MINUSCA informed. The 'blue helmets' were in the village of Batouri Bole, in Mambere-Kadei, in the southwest of the country, when the incident happened.

The incident took place around 11:00 a.m., local time, as the peacekeepers' convoy left the town of Berberati for the Force's temporary military outposts in Gbambia and Amada-Gaza, which are located around 100 kilometers northeast of Berberati.

MINUSCA has strongly condemned the use of explosive devices by armed groups in contested areas of CAR, which have already caused dozens of deaths and injuries among the civilian population.

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of MINUSCA, Mankeur Ndiaye, wished a speedy recovery to the wounded peacekeepers.
"Despite the difficult conditions our peacekeepers face on the ground, aggravated by the appearance of improvised explosive devices, MINUSCA remains resolutely determined to carry out its mandate for peace and stability," he said.

This is the third time that MINUSCA peacekeepers have fallen victim to explosive devices detonating beneath UN vehicles.

Back in November, a rogue attack by elements of the presidential guard against a vehicle from the mission, left ten unarmed Egyptian blue helmets injured in Bangui.
At the time, UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, urged authorities to spare no effort in investigating the "unacceptable attack."

More than 14,000 uniformed personnel serve with MINUSCA, which has been in the country since 2014, following the eruption the previous year of deadly inter-communal violence between mainly Christian and mainly Muslim militias, which destabilized CAR.

The Government declared a unilateral ceasefire in October, and although much of the country remains in the grip of armed groups, positive steps have been made this year to strengthen democracy and the rule of law.