April 7th, 2018 11:05 EST
UN Condemns Attack in Mali
Late Friday night the United Nations Security Council condemned an attack earlier in the day on a vehicle of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali that killed a Nigerien peacekeeper in Gao.
"The members of the Security Council expressed their deepest condolences and sympathy to the family of the victim, as well as to the Government of Niger and to MINUSMA," the Council said in a statement paying tribute to the peacekeepers who risk their lives and calling on the Malian Government to swiftly investigate the attack and bring the perpetrators to justice.
"Attacks targeting peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law," the statement underlined, stressing that "involvement in planning, directing, sponsoring or conducting attacks against MINUSMA peacekeepers constitute a basis for sanctions designations pursuant to United Nations Security Council resolutions."
The Council members reaffirmed that terrorism constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security and emphasized the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice.
They stressed that those responsible should be held accountable, and urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with the relevant authorities.
The Council reiterated that "any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable," and reaffirmed the need for all States to combat, in accordance with the UN Charter and other obligations under international law, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.
They echoed their full support for MINUSMA, the French forces that support it, Special Representative of the Secretary General for Mali Mahamat Saleh Annadif and for the UN Mission to assist the Malian authorities and people in their efforts to bring lasting peace and stability to their country - including through the implementation of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali (the Agreement).
The Council recognized the determination and ownership of the Governments of the Group of Five for the Sahel States (G5 Sahel) to address terrorism and transnational organized crime, including through cross-border joint military counter-terrorist operations.
The members expressed concern over Mali`s security situation and the transnational dimension of the terrorist threat in the Sahel region, urging the Malian parties to "fully implement the Agreement without further delay."
"They noted that the full implementation of the Agreement and the intensification of efforts to overcome asymmetric threats can contribute to improving the security situation across Mali," the statement continued.
The Council maintained that the efforts of the G5 Sahel`s Force Conjointe to counter the activities of terrorist and other organized criminal groups will contribute to a more secure Sahel region.
"The members of the Security Council further stressed the importance that MINUSMA has the necessary capacities, including combat convoy companies, to fulfil its mandate and promote the safety and security of the United Nations peacekeepers, pursuant to Security Council resolution 2364 (2017)," concluded the statement.
The UN mission in Mali is one of the most dangerous, having taken more than 160 peacekeepers` lives. In late February, four peacekeepers were killed when their convoy came under attack in Mopti, central Mali and on 5 April two Chadian peacekeepers were slain in Aguelhok, Kidal region.
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