Mali: Security Council, Ban condemn attack that killed five UN peacekeepers
The Security Council and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today condemned in the strongest terms yesterday’s attack by an explosive device on a road in Mali, in which five Chadian peacekeepers were killed and three other peacekeepers were severely injured.
The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) peacekeepers were traveling on a road between Aguelhok and Tessalit when the explosion happened.
In a statement issued by the 15-member Council, members expressed their condolences to the families of the peacekeepers, to the Government and people of Chad, and to MINUSMA.
“The member of the Security Council commended the Chadian peacekeepers for their sacrifices and continued tireless efforts in MINUSMA,” said the statement.
Reiterating its full support to the UN Mission, the Council called on the Government of Mali to “swiftly investigate this attack and bring the perpetrators to justice.” Those responsible for the attack must be held accountable, the statement stressed.
Council members also reaffirmed the need to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.
Any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed, they said.
At the same time, States must ensure that measures taken to combat terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law.
The Council pledged its continued support MINUSMA as it assists Mali in its efforts to bring lasting peace and stability to their country, as mandated by the Security Council in resolution 2164 (2014).
In a statement issued by his spokesperson today, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed outrage at the attack and noted that it brings the total of peacekeepers killed in incidents by explosive devices in Mali to 21 and 84 wounded peacekeepers since the beginning of the mission on 1 July 2013.
“The Secretary-General calls on the armed groups meeting in Algiers to take immediate action on their declaration to collaborate with the [MINUSMA] in the prevention of these cowardly attacks, in line with their commitment of 16 September,” said the statement, adding: “These continued assaults against the United Nations must cease immediately.”
Later in the day, the Secretary-General spoke with President Idriss Déby of Chad and expressed his heartfelt condolences to the country’s Government and people and to the families of the five peacekeepers killed in the “heinous” attack.
In a note issued to the press at UN Headquarters, Mr. Ban underscored Chad’s key role in support of the Malian peace process and his particular gratitude to Chadian forces that are operating in particularly difficult circumstances.