The United Nations chastised Kazakhstan on Monday after government forces were photographed donning UN peacekeeper’s blue helmets during last week’s deadly upheaval.
“We have explicitly voiced our concern to Kazakhstan’s Permanent Mission on this subject, and we have got assurances from them that this problem has been handled,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.
“Any UN troop and police-contributing nations are only to wear UN insignia when fulfilling their assigned responsibilities as UN peacekeepers in the context of their deployment within a UN peacekeeping operation, as authorized by the UN Security Council,” he said.
Photos on social media showed six troops dressed in military fatigues and wearing blue helmets with UN insignia in Kazakhstan’s capital city of Almaty.
In response, Kazakhstan released an embarrassing statement, claiming that the helmets were the only piece of UN equipment used by its forces.
“During the violent riots in Almaty, the Peacekeeping Unit of Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Defense (Kazbat) was placed on high alert to help and defend the city’s critical infrastructure facilities from terrorists and extremists,” Kazakhstan’s UN mission stated in a tweet.
“With the exception of helmets worn as part of the official kit of local peacekeepers during the high danger, no ‘UN’ marked equipment was employed.”
Dozens of people were murdered last week in skirmishes between demonstrators and government troops in the Central Asian state, which officials described as an attempted coup d’état inspired by foreign forces.
Thousands of people were detained and questioned.
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