Guterres condemns attack against peacekeeping mission in Mali

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has condemned an attack against the peacekeeping mission in Mali.

Through a statement attributable to his spokesperson Stephane Dujarric issued on Saturday, the UN chief condemned “the complex attack by unidentified armed elements against a temporary operating base of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) in Kerena, Douentza region, reports Xinhua news agency.

The attack, which took place on February 10, resulted in the wounding of 27 Togolese peacekeepers, and the death of one peacekeeper”, reports Xinhua news agency.

“The Secretary-General expresses his deep condolences to the family of the victim, and to the people and Government of Togo. He wishes a full recovery to those injured,” said the statement.

“The Secretary-General emphasizes that attacks against UN peacekeepers may constitute a war crime. He calls on the Malian authorities to spare no efforts in promptly holding to account the perpetrators of this heinous attack.

“The Secretary-General reaffirms the solidarity of the UN with the people and government of Mali,” the statement added.

In January, five peacekeepers lost their lives in Mali where terrorist threats persist since the coup in 2012.

In 2020, six peacekeepers were killed while on duty.

The MINUSMA was deployed in 2013 to support political processes in Mali.

During a failed coup in 2012, extremist militias took control of Mali’s north.

A UN-backed peace deal in 2015 between the government and various armed groups failed to stabilise the situation in the country’s central and northern regions, with attacks multiplying in the past years.