UN Staff Union: 24 peacekeepers, 1 civilian killed in 2021

February 5, 2022 GMT

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Twenty-four U.N. peacekeepers and one civilian working for the United Nations were killed in deliberate attacks during 2021, according to the United Nations Staff Union.

Two of the peacekeepers killed were women, and for the eighth year in a row Mali was the world’s most dangerous with 19 peacekeepers killed, the union’s Standing Committee for the Security and Independence of the International Civil Service said. Central African Republic was second on the list with four peacekeeper deaths..

“Once again, United Nations staff members, especially ‘blue helmets’, serving in the world’s most dangerous places paid the highest price”, U.N. Staff Union President Aitor Arauz said in a statement Friday.

“No one was apprehended and sentenced for such crimes,” he said. “We call on governments to do the utmost to protect United Nations personnel and prosecute their killers.”

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Eight peacekeepers who died in 2021 were from Togo, four from Chad, three from Ivory Coast, three from Egypt and one each from Rwanda, Burundi, Congo, Gabon, Malawi and Morocco, the Staff Union said. The one civilian killed was from Congo.

The 25 killings in 2021 bring the death toll to at least 462 United Nations and associated personnel killed in deliberate attacks in the past 11 years from improvised explosive devices, rocket-propelled grenades, artillery fire, mortar rounds, land mines, ambushes, convoy attacks, suicide attacks and targeted assassinations, the Staff Union said.

Last year’s death toll compares to 15 killings in 2020, 28 in 2019, 34 in 2018 and 71 in 2017.