26 UN peacekeepers killed in attacks in 2018

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International desk, Feb 01: At least 34 United Nations and associated personnel — 26 peacekeepers and eight civilians — were killed in malicious attacks in the line of duty in 2018, said a UN spokesperson Thursday.The 2018 casualty rate was among the lowest of the last five years and was less than half the number recorded in 2017, Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN secretary-general, said at a regular press briefing, citing a report from the UN Staff Union.

In 2018, the peacekeeping mission in Mali suffered the greatest loss of life, with 11 peacekeepers killed. It was followed by the missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where 8 peacekeepers were killed. In the Central African Republic, 7 peacekeepers were killed, according to the report.

Since 2012, at least 344 United Nations and associated personnel have died in malicious and deliberate attacks, it said.

President of the UN Staff Union Bibi Sherifa Khan said: “United Nations staff work in some of the world’s most dangerous places. Any cut in the budget of peacekeeping operations increases the dangers for staff members and risk jeopardizing the goals and objectives of the organization.”

The union president added: “When the United Nations sends its staff to work in conflict zones, it must ensure, along with member states, that the necessary resources are provided and that those who attack our colleagues are brought to justice.”

Source: News Agencies