Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has voiced deep concern over a series of attacks targeting the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) which have resulted in numerous casualties, a statement issued by a UN spokesperson said today.
According to the UN, seven peacekeepers were wounded on 23 April in Mali's north-eastern Kidal region when a MINUSMA vehicle struck an explosive device. The incident was preceded by two separate attacks - on 17 and 20 April - involving unidentified armed men killing the drivers of MINUSMA-contracted trucks outside the city of Gao.
And, on 15 April, a suicide vehicle detonated at the entrance to the MINUSMA camp in the town of Ansongo injuring nine peacekeepers.
"Attacks against civilians and UN peacekeepers constitute a serious violation of international law," said the Secretary-General's statement, which also added Mr. Ban's appeal that those responsible for the attacks be brought to justice.
"This series of attacks highlights the urgency of finding a political settlement and re-establishing security in the north of Mali," it added.
In the statement, the Secretary-General also expressed his "deepest condolences" to the families of the deceased and the Government of Mali while wishing a speedy recovery to those who have been injured.
In addition, Mr. Ban expressed his "profound gratitude" to the brave peacekeepers serving in Mali's war-torn region and to the troop-contributing countries.