UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the UN Security Council strongly condemned Tuesday’s attack against a convoy of the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, which left three blue helmets from Senegal dead and five others injured, said his spokesman.
The secretary-general conveys his heartfelt condolences to the government and people of Senegal and his profound sympathies to the families of the victims. He wishes a speedy and full recovery to the five injured peacekeepers, said Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman, in a statement.
“The secretary-general recalls that attacks targeting United Nations peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law. He calls on the Malian authorities to spare no effort in identifying the perpetrators of this attack so that they can be brought to justice swiftly,” said the statement.
“The secretary-general reaffirms the commitment of the United Nations to support the Malian transitional authorities and the people of Mali in achieving sustainable peace and security,” it said.
The tragedy occurred when the convoy of UN peacekeepers drove over an improvised explosive device in Bandiagara cercle, said the statement.
In a press statement, the members of the Security Council expressed their deepest condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims, as well as to Senegal. They wished a speedy and full recovery to those who were injured.
The council members called on the transitional government of Mali to swiftly investigate the attack with the support of the UN peacekeeping mission, known as MINUSMA, promote accountability by bringing the perpetrators to justice, and keep the relevant troop-contributing country informed of the progress.
They underlined that attacks targeting peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law. They stressed that involvement in planning, directing, sponsoring or conducting attacks against MINUSMA peacekeepers constitutes a basis for sanctions designations pursuant to Security Council resolutions.
The council members underscored that the primary responsibility of the safety and security of UN personnel and assets rests with host states, and highlighted the importance of engagement and communications between MINUSMA and the transitional government of Mali.
They reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, and stressed the need for all states to combat by all means threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.
They reiterated their full support to MINUSMA and the other security presences in the Sahel region. They expressed concern about the security situation in Mali and the transnational dimension of the terrorist threat in the Sahel region. They stressed the importance of MINUSMA having the necessary capacities to fulfill its mandate and promote the safety and security of the UN peacekeepers.