Bamako – AFP
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday condemned the attacks on UN peacekeepers, stressing that they may constitute war crimes under international law, after an Egyptian soldier was killed in a mine explosion in northern Mali.
The condemnation came, after the United Nations Mission in Mali announced the killing of one of the organization’s peacekeepers, and the serious injury of four others, on Saturday, in an explosive device explosion near Tessalit, in the northeast of the country, near the Algerian border.
A statement published by Guterres’ spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, quoted that the Secretary-General of the United Nations expressed his deep condolences to the family of the victim, as well as to the Egyptian government and people, and affirmed the solidarity of the United Nations with the government and people of Mali.
The statement stressed that attacks on peacekeepers may constitute “war crimes” under international law, and Guterres called on the Malian authorities to spare no effort in identifying the perpetrators of the attacks so that they can be prosecuted.
For his part, the commander of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) said in a statement: “This incident is a sad reminder of the constant danger surrounding peacekeepers and the sacrifices made for peace in Mali.”
“Today’s cowardly attack reinforces the mission’s determination to support Mali and its people in their pursuit of peace and stability,” he added.
Four Chadian soldiers from the UN forces were killed in April in an armed attack on their camp in Agelhouk, also in north-eastern Mali.
MINUSMA, which has been deployed in Mali since 2013, is the most frequent UN peace mission that has witnessed casualties among its members. As of August 31, 145 of them had been killed in hostilities, according to the United Nations.
Bamako – AFP