Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

World

Three UN peacekeepers killed in Mali blast

Deadly weapon: Scores of UN peacekeepers have been killed by roadside bombs in Mali
Deadly weapon: Scores of UN peacekeepers have been killed by roadside bombs in Mali - Copyright AFP/File Charism SAYAT
Deadly weapon: Scores of UN peacekeepers have been killed by roadside bombs in Mali - Copyright AFP/File Charism SAYAT

Three United Nations peacekeepers were killed and five were seriously injured on Tuesday when their convoy struck a roadside bomb in central Mali, the UN mission said.

“A MINUSMA Force convoy hit an Improvised Explosive Device #IED today,” it said in a tweet that gave a preliminary toll.

The mission gave no immediate word about the casualties’ nationalities.

An impoverished state lying in the heart of West Africa’s Sahel, Mali is struggling with an 11-year-old jihadist insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives and forced hundreds of thousands from their homes 

MINUSMA — the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali — was created in 2013.

With more than 13,500 military personnel and police, it is one of the biggest but also deadliest UN peacekeeping missions, suffering a high toll especially to IEDs.

In January, UN chief Antonio Guterres said in a report that 165 peacekeepers had died and 687 were wounded in hostile acts since July 2013.

The force recorded 548 IED attacks up to the date of the report, claiming 103 lives and 638 wounded among MINUSMA personnel.

Anger within the Malian military at the government’s failure to roll back the insurgency led to a coup against the elected president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, in August 2020.

The junta wove closer ties with the Kremlin, bringing in Russian paramilitaries and equipment, as relations with France, the country’s traditional ally, spiralled downwards.

France in 2022 withdrew its last troops from Mali deployed under its long-running Barkhane anti-jihadist force in the Sahel.

The junta in Bamako routinely claims that it is gaining the upper hand against the jihadists since it has pivoted to Russia.

On Monday, it protested after the head of the European Council, Charles Michel, last week said that the Malian state was “collapsing” and that the jihadists were gaining ground.

Michel’s comments “omit the tangible progress achieved by Malian forces on the ground,” the foreign ministry said.

The insurgency began alongside a revolt by ethnic Tuaregs in the north of the country in 2012.

France sent troops to beat back the rebellion, but the jihadists regrouped and expanded into the centre of the country in 2015.

From there, they carried out bloody incursions into neighbouring Niger and Burkina Faso.

AFP
Written By

With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

You may also like:

Business

A new phishing campaign uses HTML attachments that abuse the Windows search protocol.

World

Too little has been done for too long. This may well be the first instalment of the payoff.

World

The most expensive city was found to be London, followed by Amsterdam, Chicago, Oslo and Edinburgh.

World

Venezuelan opposition presidential candidate Edmundo Gonzalez Urrutia speaks to reporters in Caracas on June 13, 2024 - Copyright MIZAN NEWS AGENCY/AFP/File Amir Abbas GHASEMIA...