Two Rwandan peacekeepers shot dead in Haiti

Kigali (AFP) –


Two female Rwandan police officers serving in the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti have been shot dead in their home, Kigali said on Thursday.

"The Rwanda National Police regrets to announce the death of two police peacekeepers" serving in the 2,600-strong MINUSTAH mission, a statement from the force said.

Lillian Mukansonera and Aimee Nyiramudakemwa were "shot and killed at their residence in Cap Haitien by unidentified assailants" on Tuesday evening, the statement said, referring to Haiti's second city in the north of the country.

A joint investigation has been launched by the UN force, Haiti's national police and Rwandan officers, who work together to enforce law and order in the troubled country, the UN mission and Rwandan police said.

MINUSTAH was deployed to Haiti in 2004 after the fall of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide plunged the poorest country in the Americas into political crisis.

Its numbers have ebbed and flowed but it was reinforced after the January 2010 earthquake that devastated the capital Port-au-Prince and killed more than 200,000 Haitians and 102 UN staff.

Today, MINUSTAH counts 2,370 "Blue Helmet" military peacekeepers, 2,600 international police and around 1,500 civilian workers, both expatriates and Haitians.