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MALI: UN Chief Guterres flays attacks against peacekeepers

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UN Secretary-General António Guterres

Secretary-General António Guterres has strongly condemned two deadly attacks against United Nations peacekeepers in Mali on Thursday.

Guterres’ reaction came in a statement by his spokesman, Mr Stephane Dujarric, in New York on Friday.

He said an Egyptian peacekeeper was killed and two others injured in the attacks targeting the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

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“In Kidal region, an explosive device hit a Mission vehicle killing one Egyptian peacekeeper and seriously injuring another.

“In Timbuktu, an indirect fire attack against the Mission’s integrated camp resulted in at least one Burkinabe peacekeeper wounded.

“These incidents come three days after 12 civilians and at least 11 soldiers of the Malian Defence and Security Forces had been killed in attacks in central Mali,” he said.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

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The UN Chief reiterated that attacks targeting peacekeepers might constitute war crimes under international law.

He called on the Malian government to take urgent steps to arrest and bring the perpetrators to justice without delay.

Guterres commiserated with the people and governments of Egypt and Mali and families of the deceased while wishing the injured quick recovery.

Mali’s central and northern regions have been the epicentres of violence and attacks following a 2012 military coup saw separatist rebel groups and later al-Qaeda-associated militants seize control of the region.



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