Africa accounts for largest number of peacekeeping deaths in 2022

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Thirty-two United Nations (UN) peacekeeping personnel died in deliberate attacks last year, according to the world body’s staff union.

For the ninth year in a row, the UN Multi-dimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) was the deadliest for peacekeepers with 14 fatalities. The West African mission was followed by 13 fatalities in the UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission in Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and four fatalities in the UN Multi-dimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Central African Republic (MINUSCA).

Twenty-eight deaths were military with the remaining four police, one a woman.

“Peacekeepers and civilian personnel who work alongside them are on the front lines of UN work in the world’s most challenging environments,” said Aitor Arauz, UN Staff Union President.

“Each malicious attack against UN personnel is a blow to peacekeeping, a pillar of the multilateral edifice. It is a collective responsibility of the international community to put in place appropriate mechanisms to ensure accountability for these heinous acts, which may constitute war crimes under international law. To this end, we were encouraged by the launch of the Group of Friends to promote accountability for crimes against peacekeepers last year. We look forward to seeing member states’ strong commitment on this issue leading to tangible outcomes on the ground.”

By nationality, peacekeepers who died in 2022 were, in alphabetical order, from Bangladesh (three), Chad (four), Egypt (seven), Guinea (one), India (two), Ireland (one), Jordan (one), Morocco (one), Nepal (one), Nigeria (two), Pakistan (seven), Russian Federation (one) and Serbia (one).

This brings the death toll to 494 of UN and associated personnel killed in deliberate attacks in the past 12 years. Improvised explosive devices (IEDs), rocket propelled grenades, artillery fire, mortar rounds, landmines, armed ambushes, convoy and suicide attacks as well as targeted assassinations were responsible, the staff union said.