Three people were killed and a fourth was injured when a combat helicopter used by United Nations peacekeepers in the Central African Republic crashed on landing, the head of the MINUSCA mission said on Friday, September 27.
“It is with immense sorrow that I have learned of the crash of a Senegalese combat helicopter as it was landing at Bouar, leading to three deaths and one injured,” Mankeur Ndiaye, said on Twitter.
C’est avec une peine immense que j’ai appris le crash d’un hélicoptère de combat sénégalais avec 3 morts et un blessé au moment de son atterrissage à Bouar. Mes condoléances émues aux familles et mon souhait de prompt rétablissement au blessé #Minusca
— Mankeur ndiaye (@ndiayemankeur) September 27, 2019
The helicopter was a Senegalese air force Mi-35 helicopter gunship deployed to MINUSCA and was returning from an operational mission, Director of Information and Public Relations of Senegal’s Armed Forces Colonel Abdoul Ndiaye said.
Despite reserves of diamonds, gold, uranium, copper and iron, Central African Republic remains one of the world’s poorest countries.
Fighting broke out between the Seleka, a coalition of mainly Muslim rebel groups, and the mainly Christian anti-balaka militia in 2012. A peace deal was signed in January 2013, but Seleka rebels captured the capital Bangui that March and ousted President Francois Bozize.
The Seleka was officially disbanded within months, but many fighters refused to disarm, becoming known as ex-Seleka. Many others joined the anti-balaka militia to fight the Seleka, leading to a spiral of violence between groups along religious and ethnic lines.
Elected in 2016, President Faustin-Archange Touadera’s weak government controls around a fifth of the country and relies heavily on the U.N. peacekeeping mission, MINUSCA, for support. The rest is controlled by at least 14 different militia groups who often fight each other for revenue from extortion, roadblocks or mineral resources.
With reporting from AFP