UNSC meets at India’s request after death of Peacekeepers in Congo, condemns the attack

The attack had resulted in the death of three personnel and injured other peacekeepers under Blue Helmet who were deployed in Goma, Butembo.

un peacekeeping mission
At the end of the meeting a strongly worded statement was issued which condemned the killing of the peacekeepers. (Reuters)

Based on a request from India at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the Congolese government has been asked to investigate the incident in which two Indian UN peacekeepers from the Border Security Force (BSF) were killed. Once it was confirmed that two of the three peacekeepers who were killed in an anti-UN protest in the African nation were from India, New Delhi requested for a meeting under Any Other Business (AOB) format. New Delhi earlier this week on Tuesday (July 26) requested UNSC to discuss the attack on UN Peacekeepers who are deployed in the Democratic Republic of Congo. At the end of the meeting a strongly worded statement was issued which condemned the killing of the peacekeepers.

The Indian personnel were deployed at the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission (MONUSCO) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and they were Head Constable (GD) Sanwala Ram Vishnoi (L) and Head Constable (GD) Shishupal Singh (R) both from BSF and one peacekeeper from Morocco.

On the twitter handle external affairs minister Dr S Jaishankar termed the attack ‘outrageous’ and those responsible for the attack “must be held accountable and brought to justice”.

UN Statement

Extending condolences to the bereaved families of the victims and India and Morocco, the UN in a strongly worded statement condemned the attack on the UN Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) in North Kivu. And it also underlined “deliberate attacks targeting peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law.” The UNSC has asked the government of Congo ‘swiftly investigate these attacks and bring the perpetrators to ‘justice’ and “proactively enhance the understanding of MONUSCO’s mandate among the local population, counter disinformation and misinformation”.

The attack had resulted in the death of three personnel and injured other peacekeepers under Blue Helmet who were deployed in Goma, Butembo. The largest UN Bases and two BSF platoons are deployed in Goma.

Since France is the penholder when it comes to the MONUSCO mission, the statement was tabled together by India and France. The statement called for an “update consistent with Para 4 (a) of Security Council Resolution 2589 (2021) on measures undertaken to promote accountability for such acts.”  This Para 4 (a) specifically mentions the need for “accountability” for acts on UN peacekeepers under domestic justice systems. This resolution was passed under the Indian presidency of the council in August last year.

India has been one of the major contributors to UN peacekeeping missions

India is the third largest contributor to MONUSCO with 5581 personnel and in the last 70 years has provided more than 200,000 military and police officers to UN peacekeeping. Today, from India there are more than 6,700 troops and police deployed in UN peacekeeping missions across the world.

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