UN condemns killing of Egyptian peacekeeper in Mali’s terrorist attacks

Ahram Online , Saturday 17 Oct 2020

Thursday’s attacks came three days after 12 civilians and at least 11 Malian soldiers were killed in attacks in the centre of the country

Peacekeepers serving with the UN's Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) wear face masks while on patrol (Photo courtesy of the United Nations website)

In two seperate statements, the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres and members of the UN Security Council condemned two attacks against the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

On Thursday, a terrorist attack targeted MINUSMA in Mali’s Kidal region when an explosive device hit a mission vehicle, which resulted in the death of an Egyptian peacekeeper and the serious injury of another.

Another attack against MINUSMA's integrated camp in Timbuktu was carried out on the same day, resulting in the injury of at least one peacekeeper from Burkina Faso in an indirect fire attack against the mission’s camp, a statement by the UN read.

UN chief Guterres strongly condemned the attacks, his spokesman said in a statement on Friday.

“The secretary-general recalls that attacks targeting United Nations peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law. He calls on the Malian authorities to take urgent steps to apprehend and swiftly bring the perpetrators to justice,” said Stéphane Dujarric, the UN spokesman.

The UN chief expressed his deepest condolences to the people and governments of Egypt and Mali, extending sympathies to the bereaved families, as well as wishing a swift recovery to the injured.

Thursday’s attacks came just three days after 12 civilians and at least 11 Malian soldiers were killed in attacks in the centre of the country.

Security Council members condemned in the strongest terms, in a seperate statement on Friday, the two attacks and expressed their deepest condolences and sympathy to the family of the victim, as well as to Egypt and to MINUSMA, wishing a speedy and full recovery to the peacekeepers who were injured.

They also paid tribute to the peacekeepers who risk their lives, the statement said.

“The members of the Security Council called on the transitional government of Mali to swiftly investigate these attacks and bring the perpetrators to justice,” the statement said, adding that the attacks targeting peacekeepers constitute war crimes under international law.

They stressed that involvement in planning, directing, sponsoring or conducting attacks against MINUSMA peacekeepers constitutes a basis for sanction designations pursuant to United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, said the Security Council members, stressting the need to bring perpetrators, organisers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice.

Those responsible for these killings should be held accountable, the members of the UN body said in the statement, urging dtates, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with relevant authorities in this regard.

The members of the Security Council further stressed the importance of MINUSMA having the necessary capacities to fulfil its mandate and promote the safety and security of the United Nations peacekeepers, pursuant to Security Council Resolution 2531 (2020).

The MINUSMA was established by Security Council resolution 2100 of 25 April 2013 to support political processes in that country and carry out a number of security-related tasks.

The council decided in 2014 that the MINUSMA should focus on duties, such as ensuring security, stabilisation and protection of civilians; supporting national political dialogue and reconciliation; and assisting the reestablishment of state authority, the rebuilding of the security sector, and the promotion and protection of human rights in that country.

The members of the Security Council concluded in the statement that these heinous acts will not undermine their determination to continue to support the peace and reconciliation process in Mali. 

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