20 peacekeepers injured in Mali attack: UN
Bamako: At least 20 UN peacekeepers were injured in an attack which targeted their camp in Mali, a top official said here.
“Around 7 a.m. this morning, a temporary MINUSMA base in Kerena, located near Douentza, was the target of direct and indirect shooting. During the attack, and according to a provisional assessment, some twenty peacekeepers were wounded”, Olivier Salgado, spokesperson of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), said in a statement on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Jean Pierre-Lacroix, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, confirmed that the injured soldiers were from the Tongolese contingent.
Taking to Twitter late Wednesday night, Lacroix said: “My thoughts to the brave Togolese soldiers wounded in the attack… Contribution of Togolese peacekeepers is vital to protect populations in the region. No impunity for those responsible.”
MINUSMA chief Mahamat Saleh Annadif strongly condemned the cowardly attack on the peacekeepers, adding that all measures were taken to ensure the wounded receive appropriate treatment.
Also condemning the attack, UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Volkan Bozkir said that “it is unacceptable that our committed peacekeepers keep coming under fire while simply carrying out their mandates”.
In January, five peacekeepers lost their lives in Mali where terrorist threats persist since the coup in 2012.
In 2020, six peacekeepers were killed while on duty.
The MINUSMA was deployed in 2013 to support political processes in Mali.
During a failed coup in 2012, extremist militias took control of Mali’s north.
A UN-backed peace deal in 2015 between the government and various armed groups failed to stabilise the situation in the country’s central and northern regions, with attacks multiplying in the past years.