Four peacekeepers from Chad have been killed, and 19 others wounded, when armed components launched a complex attack in opposition to the mission’s camp in Aguelhok, positioned in the Kidal area in the northeast of the nation.
“The Secretary-General recalls that attacks targeting peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law and that sanctions can be applied against those responsible”, his Spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric, mentioned in a press release.
“He calls on the Malian authorities to spare no effort in identifying and promptly holding to account the perpetrators of this heinous attack.”
Heavily armed terrorists
The assault occurred round 6:15 a.m. native time. Helicopters have been dispatched to the scene to evacuate the wounded.
“Peacekeepers valiantly repelled a complex attack carried out by several heavily armed terrorists,” MINUSMA mentioned in a press release, issued in French, noting that a number of of the attackers have been additionally killed.
The mission strongly condemned the attack, describing it as “yet another attempt against the peace process and the implementation of the Agreement by enemies of peace”.
The head of UN Peacekeeping, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, took to Twitter to condemn the attack. “This crime must not go unpunished”, he wrote in French.
Both the UN mission and Mr. Lacroix offered their condolences to the Government of Chad, and to the families of the fallen peacekeepers, and wished a speedy and complete recovery to the wounded blue helmets.
MINUSMA, officially the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, has been in the country since 2013, following a military coup and the occupation of the north by radical Islamists.
The mission supports implementation of a 2015 peace agreement signed by the authorities and two coalitions of armed groups, and is considered the most dangerous UN operation to serve in.
Bring perpetrators to justice
The members of the UN Security Council issued a statement on Saturday in which they called on the transitional Government of Mali to swiftly investigate the attack and bring the perpetrators to justice.
The underlined that “any acts of terrorism are legal and unjustifiable, no matter their motivation, wherever, at any time when and by whomsoever dedicated.”