Two UN peacekeepers were killed on Saturday in an attack on their convoy in northern Mali, the head of the UN mission in the country announced on Sunday. The attack was carried out by “unidentified armed individuals,” the organization said.
Two soldiers from the UN mission in Mali (Minusma) were killed by “unidentified” armed men in the north of this West African village loot for jihadist attacks, the UN announced on Sunday, June 14.
A Minusma logistics convoy linking Tessalit and Gao in the north was attacked “yesterday (Saturday) around 7pm” (local and GMT) by “unidentified armed individuals” who “killed two soldiers from peace,” Minusma said in a statement without stating they killed the nationality of the soldiers.
The convoy was “stopped” when it was attacked “against the city of Tarkint, northeast of Gao”, the largest city in northern Mali. “Minusma peacekeepers responded firmly and fled from the attackers,” the UN force said.
“Indignation” and “deep sadness”
Quoted in this press release, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Mali and Head of Minusma, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, expressed his “indignation” and his “deep grief”. He condemned “cowardly acts aimed at paralyzing the mission’s operations on the ground”.
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“We must combine all efforts to identify and arrest those responsible for these terrorist acts so that they can be responsible for their crimes before the judiciary,” he continued.
MINUSMA has about 13,000 soldiers in Mali, the theater since 2012 of a multi-faceted crisis that has left thousands of people dead and hundreds of thousands displaced.
If a peace treaty was signed in 2015 with the separatist rebels in the north, the country remains prey to the violence of jihadist groups, the tensions of the intermediate community, hunted or found by the same jihadists and trade with all kinds of undermining government authority, which is only exercised across parts of the territory.
The violence spread from the north to the center of the country, as well as in neighboring Niger and Burkina Faso.
With AFP and Reuters