•UN Sec-Gen regrets killing
A Nigerian soldier was killed and several injured in two attacks on the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, UN officials said on Sunday.
Gunmen attacked the UN troops in Timbuktu in the north of the country, where several groups of militants are active, according to Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for Antonio Guterres, UN secretary-general.
UN soldiers from Chad were injured in Tessalit in the northern Kidal region near the border with Algeria when their vehicle drove over an explosive device.
Condemning the violence and expressing his condolences to the family of the deceased soldier, Guterres said such attacks on UN soldiers could be considered war crimes under international law.
Mali has experienced sporadic attacks by armed groups since a 2012 coup that helped separatist rebels and groups associated with al-Qaeda gain a foothold in the country’s restive north.
A UN peacekeeping mission has been active in Mali since 2013.
There have been repeated attacks on the mission in the north of the country by the militants, while ethnic conflicts in the centre flare up regularly.
Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General – on attacks against the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Mali
The Secretary-General condemns today’s attacks against the United Nation’s Integrated Stabilization Mission for Mali (MINUSMA) in Timbuktu and Tessalit.
He is deeply saddened at the death of a Nigerian peacekeeper who succumbed to his wounds following the armed attack by unidentified assailants in Timbuktu. He expresses heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family and to the Government of Nigeria. He wishes a speedy recovery to another Nigerian peacekeeper who was wounded in the same attack.
He also wishes a swift recovery to three Chadian peacekeepers, who were wounded when their mine-protected vehicle hit an improvised explosive device in Tessalit, Kidal region.
The Secretary-General recalls that attacks targeting United Nations peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law. He calls on the Malian authorities to take swift action to identify the perpetrators of these attacks and promptly bring them to justice.
The Secretary-General reaffirms the solidarity of United Nations with the people and the Government of Mali and its support to their quest for peace and stability.
New York, 18 May 2019
Stéphane Dujarric Spokesman for the Secretary-General
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