Mali

Deeply Concerned by Attacks on Peacekeepers in Mali, Secretary-General Stresses Urgency of Finding Political Settlement

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SG/SM/16698-AFR/3122-PKO/479

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

The Secretary-General is deeply concerned by a series of attacks directed against the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and MINUSMA contractors that have killed five civilians and injured 13 civilians and 16 United Nations peacekeepers since last week.

On 15 April, in Ansongo (Gao region), a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated outside the MINUSMA camp killing two civilians and wounding 12 civilians, including four children, as well as nine peacekeepers. On 17 April, 25 kilometres west of Gao, two unidentified armed assailants attacked a convoy of MINUSMA-contracted trucks and killed two drivers and injured another contractor. On 20 April, 30 kilometres west of Gao, unidentified armed men killed the driver of another truck contracted by MINUSMA. On 23 April, in Kidal region, 100 kilometres south-west of Kidal, seven peacekeepers were wounded when a MINUSMA vehicle struck an explosive device.

Attacks against civilians and United Nations peacekeepers constitute a serious violation of international law. The Secretary-General urges that those responsible for these attacks be brought to justice.

This series of attacks highlights the urgency of finding a political settlement and re-establishing security in the north of Mali.

The Secretary-General expresses his deepest condolences to the families of the deceased and the Government of Mali. He wishes a speedy recovery to those who have been injured. He reiterates the commitment of the United Nations to support the Malian people in their search for peace and expresses his profound gratitude to the brave peacekeepers serving in Mali and to the countries contributing these troops.

For information media. Not an official record.