MINUSMA Targeted by Extremist Attack
UN peacekeepers were targeted by a suicide bomber that killed four Chadian United Nations peacekeepers and wounded ten at a military camp in north-eastern Kidal region in Mali.
The suicide bomber crashed a car loaded with explosives at the entrance of the MINUSMA camp.
Six MINUSMA soldiers and four members of the Malian armed forces were among the wounded by the suicide attack.
At least 50 Chadians have been killed since the Malian security forces and French troops fought against the Islamist rebels.
In addition, a total of 15 peacekeepers have been killed in Mali this year.
US Condemns the Attack
In a press statement in Washington DC, US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said the United States strongly condemns the attack against MINUSMA
“We express our condolences to the families of those killed and to the Government of Chad, and wish those wounded a full recovery.” – Secretary Kerry
The US urged the Government of Mali to immediately investigate the incident and hold those responsible to account.
US Responds to Evolving Crisis in Mali
US names the challenges Mali continues to face: al-Qaida 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.