A Togolese peacekeeper of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), wounded in Wednesday’s attack on a temporary MINUSMA base in central Mali, has died of his injuries, MINUSMA spokesperson Olivier Salgado confirmed on Friday.
MINUSMA said Thursday that 28 Togolese peacekeepers were injured, five seriously, in the attack Wednesday on its temporary base in Kerena, in Mali’s central region of Mopti.
The attack was carried out by unidentified armed men, Salgado said, adding that it was a vehicular suicide that exploded with its driver on board near the temporary base.
According to him, the main objective of the presence of the temporary base was to contribute to reducing violence against the populations, restoring calm in the regions where community tensions were high, and neutralizing the threat of improvised explosive devices.
At around 7 a.m. local time Wednesday, a temporary base of the MINUSMA in Kerena, located near Douentza, in Mali’s central region of Mopti, was attacked. A preliminary assessment of the MINUSMA indicated that at least 20 peacekeepers were injured, with no death.
The head of MINUSMA, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, conveyed his sincere condolences to the family of the Togolese peacekeeper and also to the Togolese government, Salgado said on social media posts.
Together with the five peacekeepers who died in January, a total of six peacekeepers have sacrificed their lives to the UN peacekeeping mission this year in Mali, where terrorist threats have persisted since a coup in 2012, when extremist militias took control of Mali’s north.
MINUSMA was deployed in 2013 to support political processes in Mali.
A UN-backed peace deal in 2015 between the government and various armed groups failed to stabilize the situation in the country’s central and northern regions, with attacks multiplying over the past few years.