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State Department confirms U.N. helicopter shot down; 4 Russian troops killed


This news story was published on December 23, 2012.
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United Nations headquarters, New York City

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States deplores the shooting down of a UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) civilian helicopter in Jonglei State on 21 December, in which four Russian crew members died, a U.S. State Department Deputy Spokesperson said Friday.

“The United States expresses its condolences to the families of the crewmembers killed in the attack, as well as to UNMISS and the Government of Russia. We also call on the Government of South Sudan to fully investigate the incident, hold those responsible to account, and take steps to ensure that UN staff are protected from incidents like this in the future.

“The United States fully supports UNMISS and its mission to consolidate peace and security, protect civilians, and to help establish conditions for development in South Sudan.”

According to the United Nations, South Sudan became the newest country in the world on July 9th, 2011. The birth of the Republic of South Sudan is the culmination of a six-year peace process which began with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005.

In adopting resolution 1996 (2011) on July 8th, 2011, the Security Council determined that the situation faced by South Sudan continued to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region. The Security Council established the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) for an initial period of one year, starting from 9 July 2011.

UNMISS is on the ground to consolidate peace and security and to help establish conditions for development.

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