Over 60 peacekeepers died in 2017 – UN
UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix said more than 60 ‘blue helmets’ – also known as peacekeepers – were killed in hostile acts in 2017.
Lacroix also said that peacekeepers saved many lives in 2017 in spite of being a particularly deadly year for the ‘blue helmets’.
“We do protect civilians every day. We do save lives every day. We often do it under very difficult and stressful circumstances,” Lacroix said.
He added that “many lives were saved” because of peacekeepers’ actions this year in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, South Sudan and other places.
“I think it’s more than warranted to pay tribute to them and their achievements. But certainly we have to work hard to overcome the challenges we are facing,” he said.
According to him, the UN peacekeepers in 2017 also completed its peacekeeping objectives in Côte d’Ivoire, refocused its work in Haiti and will soon complete its mandate in Liberia.
One of the challenges facing UN peacekeepers, as they operate in increasingly complex and dangerous areas, is the need for better training and equipment, particularly, intelligence gathering and enhancing situational awareness