UN: Central African Republic Corpse Protest Was Propaganda
The UN says protesters who placed corpses in front of their headquarters in the Central African Republic (CAR) were using the bodies for “propaganda”.
“Some people are using dead bodies… to say that we have killed civilians,” a UN spokesman told the BBC.
On Wednesday, demonstrators calling for an end to violence put 17 bodies outside the UN building in Bangui.
They said the dead were innocent civilians killed in clashes between UN troops and armed groups.
But the UN says the dead were armed criminals who had been targeting peacekeepers and government soldiers.
“They shot at our peacekeepers and we returned fire,” UN spokesman Vladimir Monteiro said. “The bodies resulted from the clashes.”
“We condemn the fact that some people are using dead bodies for a kind of propaganda,” he added.
Mayor Atahirou Balla Dodo of the Bangui district in which the PK5 neighbourhood is located told Reuters a total of 21 people had been killed in the clashes.
He said protesters had taken 17 bodies from the morgue but had left four others, two women and two children.
UN troops and the local Red Cross team later removed the bodies.
Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), which operates one of the main hospitals in Bangui, said it had treated more than 40 people for gunshot wounds on Tuesday.