A Burundian soldier in the UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic (CAR) was killed late Sunday in a clash in the center of the country, UN sources said.
The fighting occurred in the town of Bambari, according to UN sources there and in the capital Bangui. A CAR soldier was also injured.
The death came a week after a Tanzanian peacekeeper was killed and seven others were wounded when their patrol was ambushed in the village of Dilapoko in the southwest Mambere-Kadei prefecture.
The UN force, known by its French acronym of MINUSCA, has been in CAR since April 2014, tasked with assisting to stabilise the country after a brutal sectarian-tinged civil conflict that France helped to dampen.
It is one of the UN’s biggest peacekeeping operations and currently has 11,000 troops and 2,000 police in a complement of nearly 13,500 people.
However, the mission is struggling to contain militias who control most of the country’s territory and often violently fight each other.
Five UN troops have now been killed in the CAR this year.
Sunday’s attack was carried out by a group that calls itself the Union for Peace in CAR (UPC), a gendarmerie official said in Bambari, adding that several militiamen were killed during the three-hour gunfight.
Bambari lies at the crossroads of several rival zones of militia influence.
MINUSCA intervened in the city in 2017 to force out the UPC, but the group went on the attack last month, targeting police buildings and the UN mission’s base there.
The offices of nine NGOs and the National Refugees Commission (CNR) were also pillaged, according to the UN.