Antonio Guterres condemns the attack against peacekeepers in Mali

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, strongly condemned the attack which targeted the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) on Friday in Timbuktu.

In a statement released by his spokesman, the secretary-general, Guterres said attacks targeting UN peacekeepers “may constitute war crimes” under international law.

He called on the Malian authorities to “spare no effort to quickly identify and bring to justice the perpetrators of these heinous attacks”, while reiterating the continued support and solidarity of the United Nations to the people of Mali.

The attack in question concerns two Blue Helmets, including a woman, who were killed while four others were injured in this attack against their patrol in Timbuktu.

In a statement, the Security Council, for its part, condemned this attack “in the strongest terms” and paid tribute to “all peacekeepers who risk their lives”.

Members of the UN executive body have called on the Malian authorities to “quickly investigate” the attack with the support of MINUSMA and to promote accountability by bringing the perpetrators to justice.

A MINUSMA report stopped on August 31 counted 245 attacks in 2021 and 134 since January 1, 2022. According to this count, these attacks left 103 dead in 2021 and 72 in the first eight months of 2022, mostly soldiers but also civilians. With some 13,000 soldiers, MINUSMA, created in 2013, is the most bereaved UN peacekeeping mission in the world. More than 180 of its members died in hostile acts.

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