from RUDD KONTE in Bamako, Mali
BAMAKO – MALI has underlined its unenviable reputation as one of the most dangerous places for peacekeepers after three personnel of the United Nations (UN) were killed following an explosion north of the country.
The members of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation in Mali (MINUSMA) died following the explosion of an improvised explosive device during a routine patrol near Aguelhok, in the Kidal region.
Four other peacekeepers were seriously injured and hospitalized.
Mahamat Saleh Annadif, the head of MINUSMA, condemned the terror acts which were aimed at paralysing MINUSMA operations on the ground and to indiscriminately affect UN personnel and civilians.
“We will have to combine all efforts to identify and apprehend those responsible for these terrorist acts so that they can answer for their crimes before the justice system,” the envoy said.
Annadif paid tribute to the fallen peacekeepers.
“I bow to the remains of these valiant peacekeepers who died in the service of peace in Mali.”
The UN mission in the West African country offered its condolences to the bereaved families, and wishes a speedy recovery to the injured.
Before the killing of the three peacekeepers, 209 MINUSMA peacekeepers had been murdered between the deployment in 2013 and the end of March this year.
It is the fifth-worst death toll after UN missions in Lebanon, Darfur, Congo Brazzaville and Bosnia Herzegovina.
MINUSMA was deployed to curb a rebellion by Islamists.
– CAJ News