A blue helmet was killed and eight others were seriously injured, Friday, June 9, in northern Mali, a country plagued in particular by jihadist guerrillas, announces the UN mission in Mali (Minusma). A patrol “was the target of a complex attack” near Ber, in the Timbuktu region, where she first hit a mine before coming under fire, reports Minusma on Twitter and in a press release. The blue helmets were part of the Burkinabe contingent, according to a UN official.
The head of Minusma “Strongly condemns this cowardly act against our patrol”. “This tragic loss is a stark reminder of the risks our peacekeepers face as they work tirelessly to bring stability and peace to the people of Mali.”he said in this press release.
Nearly 190 dead in the ranks of Munisma
France, a former colonial power, condemned this act “with the greatest firmness”. “France deplores the proliferation of attacks against Minusma and obstacles to its freedom of movement. Those responsible for this attack must be identified and held accountable.”writes the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement.
Since 2012, Mali has been plagued by a deep security crisis that started in the north and spread to the center of the country and then to neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger. It is delivered to the abuses of armed groups claiming to be Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State organization, but also to the violence of self-defense groups, bandits and even regular forces.
The Minusma, which has around 12,000 soldiers, is a prime target for jihadists who target the foreign presence and the symbols of the state. Since its creation in 2013, 186 of its members have died in hostile acts. It is the UN mission that has suffered the most losses in the world in recent years.