UN condemns Kazakhstan for use of peacekeepers by its forces: Reports
The United Nations condemned Kazakhstan after images were released showing its armed forces wearing the distinctive UN peacekeepers during the violence and crackdown on protests last week, which resulted in the deaths of at least 164 people. According to UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric, the issue was raised after the organization raised the issue with Kazakhstan’s diplomatic outpost in New York over the apparent use of military equipment. UN peacekeeping, The National reported Tuesday. Photos on various news sites and on social media appeared to show soldiers in the streets of Kazakhstan wearing UN peacekeepers. These are only allowed to be worn by peacekeepers acting under a mandate of the UN Security Council, according to the report.
“The UN insignia may not be worn by UN troops and police while exercising their statutory duty as UN peacekeepers. We have expressed our concern to the Permanent Mission of Kazakhstan in about this, and they assured us that the problem has been resolved, ”said Dujarric. quoted as saying by The National. According to the report, the blue helmet worn by UN peacekeepers symbolizes the best-known function of the international body. The United Nations has more than 86,000 staff from 121 countries engaged in a dozen missions to hot spots around the world.
Protests erupted in Kazakhstan last week
It is relevant to mention here that a wave of protests, which escalated into violence, swept through Kazakhstan last week following a dramatic increase in gas prices. Despite government efforts to calm the unrest and promises to lower prices, violence broke out, with numerous clashes with law enforcement in many areas. In the meantime, the government has declared a state of emergency until January 19 due to the current situation. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of Kazakhstan, asked the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) for help in resolving the issue, and peacekeepers were dispatched to the country.
Law enforcement must conduct a thorough investigation into the causes of the mass riots
Earlier on Friday, January 7, Tokayev announced that the administration had reached an agreement with nonviolent protesters on pressing social and economic issues. Kazakhstan’s foreign ministry said the country’s law enforcement agencies will thoroughly investigate the causes of the mass riots and disclose the findings to the international community. At the same time, the government also urged the media not to distort the unrest in the country, stressing that law enforcement and the military are now fighting terrorists rather than peaceful protesters, according to Sputnik.