Two UN peace keepers in mali died from the coronavirus , officials said Friday .
Out of the some 100 ,000 UN troops deployed on about 15 different missions around the world , these two are the first whose deaths were directly linked to the pandemic.
“Unfortunately , I also want to say that yesterday and today two of our military colleagues have passed away due to COVID – 19 ,” UN Secretary -General Antonio Guterres said , during a meeting at the UN headquarters in New York to honor the peacekeepers killed in conflict.
One was from Cambodia and the other from El Salvador , “both members of MINUSMA ,” the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali , Guterres said .
UN Secretary -General, Antonio Guterres
Including soldiers , police officers , civilians and all affiliated personnel , as of Friday there were a total of 137 cases of the coronavirus throughout the peacekeeping missions , with 53 recovered and the two dead , the UN said .
MINUSMA is the hardest- hit mission , with 90 cases of infection , 43 recovered and the two deaths .
The next – worst affected missions are in Democratic Republic of Congo ( MONUSCO ) , with 21 cases of infection and three recovered , and in Central African Republic , with 17 cases of infection and two recovered .
Other cases have been reported among peacekeepers in South Sudan , Libya, Israel and Darfur , the UN said .
In 2019, 83 soldiers , police officers and civilians in 39 different countries were killed during peacekeeping missions