UN boss condemns attack against convoy of UN mission in Mali

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Antonio Guterres

United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, on Saturday condemned the attack against a convoy of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) that took place on Friday near Tessalit in Kidal region, which resulted in the death of an Egyptian peacekeeper and serious injuries to another.

Through a statement attributable to his spokesperson Stephane Dujarric, the UN chief expressed his deepest condolences to the bereaved family, as well as to the people and government of Egypt. He wished a speedy and full recovery to the injured peacekeeper.

“The secretary-general emphasizes that attacks against United Nations peacekeepers may constitute a war crime. The United Nations will spare no efforts in supporting the Malian authorities in identifying and promptly bringing to justice the perpetrators of this heinous attack,” said the statement.

The secretary-general reaffirmed the solidarity of the United Nations with the people and government of Mali, it said.

The Malian government has been seeking to restore stability and rebuild following a series of setbacks since early 2012 that fractured the country, including a failed coup d’etat, renewed fighting between government forces and Tuareg rebels, and the short-lived seizure of its northern territory by radical extremists.

It has been a deadly week for those serving in what is the world’s most dangerous peacekeeping operation. On Wednesday, four blue helmets from Cote d’Ivoire were killed when their convoy was struck by an improvised explosive device, in the vast Timbuktu region of the restive northwest African nation.

In a press release issued by MINUSMA on Saturday, mission head Mahamat Saleh Annadif said he had “learned with dismay of the explosive device attack,” reporting that the Egyptian peacekeeper had succumbed to his injuries during his medical evacuation. “The second is currently receiving appropriate care,” he said.

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