Guterres flays killing of 3 UN troops in Mali

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United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has “strongly condemned” the killing of three UN peacekeepers by terrorists in Mali.

Guterres’ reaction to the incident, which reportedly occurred on Sunday, came in a statement by his spokesperson, Mr Stéphane Dujarric.

Earlier in a statement, the UN Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) said the late peacekeepers were from Chad.

MINUSMA said the victims died after their convoy was hit by a roadside bomb near Aguelhok in the restive northern region of Kidal.

Four other peacekeepers were “seriously injured”, and are currently receiving medical care, the mission added.

Guterres reiterated his stand that attacks targeting UN peacekeepers and other personnel might constitute war crimes under international law.

“He calls on the Malian authorities to spare no effort in identifying the perpetrators of these attacks so that they can be brought to justice swiftly.

“The Secretary-General reaffirms that such cowardly acts will not deter the UN from its resolve to continue supporting the people and Government of Mali in their pursuit of peace and stability,” the statement said.

The UN Chief condoled with the families of the victims and the Government and people of Chad, while wishing those injured a speedy recovery.

Mr Mahamat Annadif, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of MINUSMA, also strongly condemned the attack.

Annadif said it was part of cowardly acts aimed at parallysing “ground operations and indiscriminately harm both UN personnel and innocent civilians”.

“We must combine all efforts to identify and apprehend those responsible for these terrorist acts so they can answer for their crimes before the justice system.

“I bow before the remains of these brave Blue Helmets killed in the service of peace in Mali”, he said.

It was reported that the latest attack came barely two months after rebels killed a UN peacekeeping soldier in the Central African Republic (CAR).