Ten Chadian peacekeepers deployed with MINUSMA, the UN’s most dangerous peacekeeping mission, have been killed in a terrorist attack in Mali.
Rabat – A terrorist attack against the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) killed 10 Chadian “blue helmet” peacekeepers on Sunday in the mission’s camp in Aguelhok, northern Mali, UN News reported.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the attack which killed 10 and injured at least 25 others, in a statement his spokesperson gave on January 20.
“MINUSMA forces responded robustly and a number of assailants were killed,” reads the statement.
Guterres expressed “his heartfelt condolences to the Government of Chad, and the families and loved ones of the deceased.”
The Secretary-General “wishes a swift recovery to the injured and pays tribute to the dedication and courage of the men and women serving in MINUSMA at great personal risk and sacrifice.”
Je condamne l’attaque contre @UN_MINUSMA à Aguelhok, #Kidal. 10 casques bleus tchadiens ont été tués et >25 blessés. Sincères condoléances au Gouv. du #Tchad et aux familles des victimes. Les auteurs répondront devant la justice. Nous continuerons à soutenir la paix au #Mali. https://t.co/BnpPUf4K6h
— Jean-Pierre Lacroix (@Lacroix_UN) January 20, 2019
MINUSMA is considered the UN’s most dangerous peacekeeping mission. The UN established MINUSMA in April 2013 to stabilize Mali after Tuareg rebels attempted a coup in 2012.
Over 170 “blue helmets” have died during the mission out of a force of 15,000.
Following the Sunday attack, Guterres called on the Malian authorities and the signatory armed groups to the peace agreement to “spare no effort in identifying the perpetrators.”
The UN Security Council also condemned the attack and called on the Malian government to investigate and bring the perpetrators to justice.
The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the attack against the camp of MINUSMA in #Aguelhok, which resulted in 10 peacekeepers from #Chad killed and several others injured, in spite of the robust response from MINUSMA ?https://t.co/oAKsSvXuRY pic.twitter.com/hc6AMHGGhJ
— MINUSMA (@UN_MINUSMA) January 20, 2019
Recalling that attacks targeting the UN peacekeepers “may constitute war crimes under international law,” the UN Secretary-General affirmed that “such acts will not diminish the resolve of the United Nations to continue supporting the people and Government of Mali in their efforts to build peace and stability in the country.”
The MINUSMA chief, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, strongly denounced the attack, saying, “This complex and cowardly attack shows how determined terrorists are to sow chaos.”
The attack, added Annadif, “requires a robust, immediate and coordinated response from all the forces to destroy the threat of terrorism in the Sahel.”
In addition to MINUSMA, two European Union missions, EUCAP Sahel Mali and EUTM Mali, are also undertaking peace operations in Mali.