Security Council condemns downing of UN helicopter in South Sudan

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MI-8 helicopter. Photo: UNMISS / Martine Perret

The Security Council has strongly condemned the downing of a UN helicopter near Bentiu in South Sudan's Unity State on Tuesday.

The helicopter was on a routine cargo flight for the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) with four Russian crew members when it went down.

Three of the crew members were killed and one severely injured.

In a statement issued late on Wednesday, members of the Security Council stressed that "this attack constituted a grave violation of the Status of Forces Agreement" and jeopardized UNMISS operations.

They strongly urged UNMISS and the government of South Sudan to conduct a swift, thorough and transparent investigation of this attack.

They also strongly emphasized that those responsible for the attack must be held accountable and all necessary measures must be taken to avoid such attacks in the future.

The members of the Security Council extended their heartfelt condolences to the families of the crew members and to the Government of Russia and offered wishes for a full recovery to the injured crew member.

UNMISS is in South Sudan to help the conflict-torn new African country which became independent in 2011.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

Duration: 1’24″

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