Mali: a Burkinabè peacekeeper killed, eight seriously injured in an attack | TV5MONDE

UN peacekeeper killed, eight seriously injured in northern Mali attack

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Mali: a Burkinabè peacekeeper killed, eight seriously injured in an attack | TV5MONDE

Attackers killed one U.N. peacekeeper and seriously injured eight others Friday in Mali’s northern Timbuktu region, an area where extremists continue to operate, the United Nations said.

The peacekeepers, all from Burkina Faso, were part of a security patrol that was targeted first by an improvised explosive device and then by direct small arms fire seven kilometers (four miles) from their base in the town of Ber, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

The U.N. Security Council, Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the head of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Mali, El-Ghassim Wane, strongly condemned the attack.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on Mali’s transitional authorities to identify the perpetrators of the attack and bring them to justice swiftly, noting that “attacks targeting U.N. peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law,” Dujarric said.

The Security Council also called for a swift investigation and accountability, and underlined that attacking peacekeepers may not only be a war crime but that involvement in planning, directing, sponsoring or conducting such an attack can lead to sanctions.

Mali has been ruled by a military junta since a 2020 coup against an elected president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. It has faced destabilizing attacks by armed extremist groups linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group since 2013.

In 2021, France and its European partners engaged in the fight against extremists in Mali’s north withdrew from the country after the junta brought in mercenaries from Russia’s Wagner Group.

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