UNITED NATIONS -

The United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) has paid tributes to it’s Pakistani peacekeeper, who was killed in an attack last Tuesday, according to a UN report.

During a ceremony held on Thursday in Kavumu, South Kivu province, mission’s officials and colleagues as well as representatives of a number of countries came together to mark the tragic event, the report said. Speaking ahead of the ceremony, Roger Meece, the Secretary-General Special Representative in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the head of MONUSCO, said this latest attack against peacekeepers was a “cowardly and unjustified act.” He called on the national authorities to conduct an investigation and bring those responsible to justice. The Pakistan soldier was killed when a MONUSCO military convoy travelling from Walungu to Bukavu in South Kivu province came under attack by unidentified armed men.

In a statement issued hours after the tragic incident, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was “appalled by the attack” and emphasised “that the killing of peacekeepers is a war crime that falls under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.”

The Secretary-General also expressed his sincerest condolences and sympathy to the family of the victim, and to the Government of Pakistan. On Tuesday, a special meeting of the Security Council also strongly condemned the attack in “the strongest terms” against MONUSCO military convoy in South Kivu.

Speaking on the occasion, Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Masood Khan said, “This attack should be swiftly investigated and perpetrators brought to justice.”

During Thursday’s ceremony, the coffin of the fallen peacekeeper was wrapped in the flags of Pakistan and the United Nations. A MONUSCO Pakistani squad performed the “Guard of Honour” and flower wreaths were laid by Madam Christine Kaplata, Acting MONUSCO Head of Office Bukavu, and Brigadier Khalid Javed, Commander South Kivu Brigade.

After the ceremony — and before reaching Pakistan for burial — the remains of the peacekeeper were transported to Kampala, Uganda, for postmortem via a UN special flight.