From RUDD KONTE in Bamako, Mali
BAMAKO, (CAJ News) – MILITANTS have killed six soldiers and four peacekeepers in Mali as the security situation in the West African country deteriorates.
A provisional report on Thursday indicated that the peacekeepers died after the explosion of a mine or explosive device when a United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) Force vehicle passed the Boni-Douentza axis in the central region of Mopti.
Four other peacekeepers were also seriously injured and medical evacuation was underway at the time of publication.
Mahamat Saleh Annadif, the special representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of MINUSMA, expressed dismay of the attack.
He said such acts aimed at paralyzing its operations on the ground and indiscriminately affecting UN personnel, its partners or innocent civilians.
MINUSMA is currently strengthening its security system in Mali, alongside its national, regional and international partners.
“Terrorists multiply their attacks of unmentionable baseness. These acts reflect their distress and in no way detract from MINUSMA’s determination to carry out its mandate,” Annadif said.
He paid tribute to those soldiers who died in the service of peace in Mali, in the fulfillment of their mission and extended his condolences to the bereaved families.
The envoy also wishes a speedy and complete recovery to the wounded.
Annadif meanwhile expressed his condolences to the Government of Mali, which lost six soldiers on Wednesday, under similar conditions in Dioura, also in the central.
Insurgent groups are fighting the government of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta in an attempt to force the independence or greater autonomy.
The rebels flouted a peace deal signed in 2013, a year after the crisis began.
A ceasefire agreement was signed in 2015 but sporadic terrorist attacks still occur.
– CAJ News