7 UN peacekeepers killed in Mali blast

Bamako, Dec 9 (IANS): Seven UN peacekeepers were killed and three were seriously injured following an explosion in Mali, it was revealed.

In a statement on Wednesday, the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) said that logistic convoy from Douentza to Sevare struck an improvised explosive device in the Bandiagara region earlier in the day, reports Xinhua news agency.

In recent days, four MINUSMA camps in northern Mali have been the target of attacks, according to the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of MINUSMA El-Ghassim Wane.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has strongly condemned Wednesday's incident and extended his deepest condolences to the bereaved families of the victims who were from Togo and He wished a speedy recovery to the injured.

The secretary-general said that attacks targeting UN peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law.

He called on the Malian authorities to spare no effort in identifying the perpetrators of these attacks so that they can be swiftly brought to justice.

Guterres reiterated the continued support of the UN for, and solidarity with, the people and government of Mali, including through enhancing the capacity of the peacekeeping mission to protect civilians in central Mali and supporting a government-led strategy to stabilise the region.

Since 2012, Mali has been facing deep and multifaceted security, political and economic crises.

The independence insurrections, the jihadi incursions and the inter-communal violence have caused thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of displaced, despite the presence of UN forces (MINUSMA) as well as French (Barkhane) and European (Takuba) forces.



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