The bodies of the five Indian peacekeepers, who were killed in an ambush in South Sudan on Tuesday, are on their way to India by a special United Nations aircraft, even as U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the killings a war crime and urged the African nation to bring the perpetrators to justice.
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) also condemned the incident and reiterated its full support to the mission of which the Indian soldiers were a part.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed anguish over the killings. “I pay tributes to our brave soldiers,” Dr. Singh said in his message to the bereaved families.
The U.N. said the five Indian peacekeepers and two South Sudanese attached to the U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and five civilian contractors were killed in an ambush in Jonglei, South Sudan’s largest state, where over 150 people were killed last month in a battle between the army and insurgents of a local rebel leader. Nine others were injured in the attack, and some are in critical condition.
Mr. Ban said the killing of peacekeepers was a war crime falling under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. He expressed his deepest condolences to the governments of India and South Sudan and the families of the peacekeepers, the staff members and the contractors killed in the attack.
The Security Council joined Mr. Ban in calling on the South Sudanese government to swiftly investigate the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice.