Killing of Egyptian peacekeeper in Mali ‘may constitute war crimes’ – UN chief
The killing of the United Nations peacekeeper in Mali may constitute a war crime, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Saturday.
A statement from Guterres in New York gave details of the deadly roadside bombing that killed the ‘blue helmet' from Egypt and wounded four others in central Mali.
“MINUSMA peacekeepers responded, killing an assailant and apprehending eight others,” said the UN chief in the message issued by his Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric. “The Secretary-General expresses his deepest condolences to the family of the victim and to the Government of Egypt. He wishes a speedy recovery to those injured.”
Attacks “targeting United Nations peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law”, the statement continued, and Mr. Guterres called on the Malian authorities to take “swift action to identify the perpetrators of this attack and bring them to justice.”
MINUSMA was first deployed in Mali in 2013 after extremist militias seized control of the northern part of the country in 2012.
Since 2013, more than 190 peacekeepers have died in Mali, including close to 120 killed during hostilities.
The Secretary-General reaffirmed that the latest casualties “will not diminish the resolve of the United Nations to continue supporting the people and the Government of Mali in their quest for peace and stability.”