Six peacekeepers from Guinea were killed and many others injured in the complex assault, which targeted the camp of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) in the northern town of Kidal.
“The members of the Security Council called on the government of Mali to swiftly investigate this attack and bring the perpetrators to justice and stressed that those responsible for the attack should be held accountable,” the council said in a statement.
The 15-member body underlined that “attacks targeting peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law.”
It reaffirmed that “terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.”
Following the attack, which lasted for less than two hours, security measures have been reinforced around the base, which is part of an attempt by the UN to end violence in Mali following a takeover of the north by rebels in 2012. A year later a French-led intervention force pushed the armed separatists out of key towns in the region.
Despite these efforts, violence has not stopped and rebels have expanded their attacks in recent months into other parts of Mali and beyond.
Recent assaults include one on a hotel in the Malian capital of Bamako in November, in which 20 people died, and one on the Burkina Faso capital of Ouagadougou in January, in which 30 were killed.
Earlier Friday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the deadly attack, underscoring that attacks targeting UN peacekeepers constitute war crimes under international law, and calling for the perpetrators of the attack to be brought to justice.
Mali is now in the process of restoration and rebuilding with the help of UN and African regional bodies, including the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States.
Despite initial security improvements in 2013, the situation in northern Mali has deteriorated since the beginning of 2014. An increase of incidents involving improvised explosive devices, mostly targeting Malian and international security forces, has impeded the return to normalcy and resumption of economic and development activities.
In its statement, the UN Security Council reiterated their full support for MINUSMA and the French forces that support it.
Friday’s attack happened on the day when German President Joachim Gauck traveled to Mali for a visit.
Germany is currently leading the European mission that is training the Malian army, and Berlin is expected to send 650 additional soldiers to the UN mission in Mali soon. Enditem