US Calls it a Terrorist Attack
Six United Nations peacekeepers were killed and injured five others in an attack on their convoy in north Mali.
The victims are members of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and hailed from neighboring Burkina Faso.
The incident happened when a convoy patrolled the road between Goundam and Timbuktu in the northern part of the country. This attack brings the total number of casualties from deadly attacks since the beginning of MINUSMA deployment on April 2013 to 42 peacekeepers killed.
US and UN Condemn Deadly Aattack
The United States of America and the UN Security Council issued a statement condemning the attack.
The members of the Council dubbed the attack as war crime and called for a speedy probe of the incident.
Meanwhile, US Permanent Representative to UN Samantha Power said the United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the July 2 terrorist attack on a United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) convoy near Timbuktu, northern Mali.
“We express our condolences to the families of those killed and to the Government of Burkina Faso and wish those wounded a full recovery.” – Ms. Power
Similarly, Ms. Power called on the Government of Mali to immediately investigate the incident and hold those responsible to account.
She highlighted that such terrorist attacks threaten the stability of northern Mali and the well-being of all Malians.
US Responds to Evolving Crisis
US names the challenges Mali continues to face: al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb’s (AQIM) continued presence in northern Mali, the restoration of democracy, the need to begin negotiations with northern groups that renounce terrorism and recognize the unity of the Malian state, and a significant ongoing humanitarian crisis.
The evolving crisis in Mali is one of the most difficult, complex, and urgent problems West Africa has faced in decades.
US says Mali’s problems reflect the fragility of governance in the region, the lack of economic development especially in northern Mali where the absence of meaningful opportunities for people to engage with their governments, and the widespread desperation that exists in an unforgiving, arid region with chronic food insecurity.
Poor governance, weak democratic institutions, and a lack of development and economic opportunity create fertile ground for terrorism and instability.
Insecurity Rages In Mali
Insecurity raged in Mali in January 2012 when Tuareg rebels from the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad launched series of insurgency attack. The Al-Qaeda linked militants seized control of Mali’s northern desert.
A French-led military operation launched an offensive against the rebels and in January 2013, they were able to oust the extremists.