The United Nations said three UN peacekeepers from Côte d’Ivoire were killed in central Mali in recent violence against the war-torn state of Sahel.
According to a statement from the MINUSMA Peacekeeping Mission, peacekeepers shooting roadside bombs on the road connecting downtown Douentza with the city of Timbuktu further north.
Later, armed groups fired at the fleet, the statement added. Three soldiers were killed and six more were injured.
“The strong response of the peacekeepers has fled the timid perpetrators,” a statement from MINUSMA said.
A statement from a UN spokesman in New York on Wednesday said one peacekeeper was killed and seven were injured.
The attack is the latest in a brutal conflict in Mali since 2012, when jihadists overtook a rebellion by separatists, predominantly Tuareg in the north.
The conflict that has killed thousands of soldiers and civilians has since spread not only to central Mali, but also to neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger, increasing ethnic tensions in the process.
Placing a roadside bomb (or improvised explosive device (IED)) is a popular tactic among militants in the dry Sahel region.
For example, France, which has 5,100 troops throughout the Sahel, has lost five soldiers in IED attacks since late December.
First established in 2013, over 13,000 Minusuma is the world’s deadliest peacekeeping mission. More than 230 employees have died since the mission began.
MINUSMA Prime Minister Mahamato Saleha Anadiff accused the attack on UN peacekeepers on Wednesday and said he “surrendered deep sorrow in front of peacekeepers’ memories.”
“When all efforts are being mobilized to get Mali out of that rut, I deeply mourn the resurgence of these attacks on national and international military and civilians,” he added.
The attack on the United Nations peacekeepers occurred the day after the UN Security Council meeting dedicated to peace operations in Mali.
In his latest report, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed concern about the deteriorating security situation and noted that he was particularly concerned about the situation in central Mali.
Mali’s interim government is also under pressure to put down a seemingly endless conflict.
Lack of progress against jihadists and anger at perceptions of corruption contributed to the protest against President Ibrahim Bubakar Keita, who culminated in his military extremism last August.
Three Ivorian UN Peacekeepers Killed In Mali Attack Source link Three Ivorian UN Peacekeepers Killed In Mali Attack