Author Topic: United Nations Peacekeepers Accept Responsibility for Massacre in S. Sudan  (Read 604 times)

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The United Nations has accepted responsibility for its failure to respond swiftly during the February massacre of internally displaced persons in the South Sudanese city of Malakal, the spokesman for the U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations said Thursday.

The U.N.’s Nick Birnback said peacekeepers from Ethiopia, Rwanda and India did not respond in time to protect civilians who were attacked by gunmen Feb. 17 and 18 at the U.N. Protection of Civilian (POC) compound. Thirty people were killed, and 123 others were wounded.

"In the process of an inquiry, we looked at the systems that were in place and how those systems could be strengthened, but we also looked at individual unit responsibility,” Birnback said.

The U.N. plans to repatriate peacekeepers and commanders who failed to respond appropriately during the attack.

"There will be action taken, whether [against] individual units as a whole or those in command of certain units," Birnback said.

The U.N. has been reviewing its procedures to improve safety in what Birnback terms "a very challenging environment."

"We work with our troop-contributing countries. We need them. We thank them for their service. But when something happens that involves a unit not responding in a way that it needed to, it's logical that both us and the troop-contributing country in question will take whatever action is necessary to make sure that does not happen again,” he said.

On Wednesday, U.N. Peacekeeping Chief Hervé Ladsous acknowledged a lack of responsiveness from some U.N. peacekeepers in Malakal, saying there was apparently a lack of understanding about the rules of engagement. He noted that some uniformed personnel reacted "very well," while "some did not."



 

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