2 UN peacekeepers killed in 6th incident in Mali in 2 weeks

Jun 2, 2022, 11:48 PM | Updated: Jun 4, 2022, 5:56 am

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Two U.N. peacekeepers were killed Friday when their armored personnel carrier hit an improvised explosive device in central Mali in the sixth incident in less than two weeks targeting the U.N. mission in the West African nation that has faced a decade-long Islamic insurgency.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the device that killed the Egyptian peacekeepers and wounded one other was planted on a road outside the town of Douentza in the Mopti region.

Their APC was escorting a civilian convoy and was on its way from Douentza to Timbuktu when it hit the device, he said.

“The intent is to disrupt the lives of the Malian people, to disrupt transport, to disrupt security,” Dujarric said. “These roads are used by civilians, civilian trucks, civilian buses, but also by the security forces, whether it’s the Malian army or U.N. peacekeepers … (who) have been victims over and over again of improvised explosive devices.”

It was the sixth incident in which a U.N. peacekeeping mission convoy was hit since May 22 and the second fatal attack on a convoy this week, the U.N. spokesman said.

A U.N. peacekeeping convoy was attacked by suspected terrorists in the northern Kidal region on Wednesday and a Jordanian peacekeeper was killed and three other Jordanians were wounded. Dujarric said the supply convoy came under sustained fire for about an hour from attackers who used small arms and rocket launchers.

Mali has been in turmoil since a 2012 uprising prompted mutinous soldiers to overthrow the president. The power vacuum that resulted ultimately led to an Islamic insurgency and a French-led war that ousted the jihadists from power in 2013. But insurgents remain active and extremist groups affiliated with al-Qaida and the Islamic State group have moved from the arid north to more populated central Mali since 2015, stoking animosity and violence between ethnic groups in the region.

Mali’s current ruling junta seized power in August 2020, and in April the junta leaders said a transition to civilian, democratic rule would take at least two years.

The U.N. Security Council and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly condemned Friday’s attack in separate statements and called on Mali’s transitional government to swiftly identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice. They both underlined that attacks on peacekeepers may constitute war crimes.

The secretary-general “pays tribute to the determination and the courage of peacekeepers, who continue to implement their mandates in extremely challenging circumstances in support of the people of Mali,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

The Security Council stressed that involvement in planning, directing, sponsoring or conducting attacks against peacekeepers also constitutes a basis for U.N. sanctions.

Council members “expressed their concern about the security situation in Mali and the transnational dimension of the terrorist threat in the Sahel region” and urged full implementation of a 2015 peace agreement “without further delay.”

The U.N. mission says over 255 of its peacekeepers and personnel have died since 2013, making Mali the deadliest of the U.N.’s dozen peacekeeping missions worldwide.

“The word grateful isn’t strong enough to express how we feel towards those member states which continue to provide many peacekeepers around the world,” Dujarric said. “Egyptians, Jordanians, Chadians and others have given their lives for the people of Mali for the cause of peace and we’re eternally grateful for their continued support.”

The head of the U.N. mission in Mali, El Ghassim Wane, condemned Friday’s attack on the U.N. convoy, saying such attacks can constitute war crimes.

He also condemned an attack Wednesday near Kayes in western Mali by gunmen riding motorcycles against a vehicle marked with the Red Cross emblem that killed a worker for the Dutch Red Cross and the car’s driver.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - Sumo wrestler Takayuki Ichihara from Japan, left, fights against Keisho Shimoda from Japan, ...
Associated Press

Pandemic-delayed World Games open in Birmingham a year late

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Delayed a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Games open Thursday in Alabama featuring more than 3,600 athletes participating in non-Olympic events including sumo wrestling, gymnastics, pickleball, martial arts and tug of war. The opening ceremony, set for Thursday night at Protective Stadium in Birmingham, includes performances by Nelly […]
22 hours ago
Associated Press

Sentencing set for 2 in Arizona ballot harvesting case

YUMA, Ariz. (AP) — Two women are scheduled to be sentenced Thursday in southern Arizona for their conviction for illegally collecting four early ballots during the 2020 primary election. Authorities say Guillermina Fuentes and Alma Juarez participated in “ballot harvesting.” That’s a practice once used by both political parties to boost turnout but was made […]
22 hours ago
Anti-death penalty activists protest the upcoming execution of a Malaysian convicted for drug traff...
Associated Press

Singapore hangs 2 drug traffickers despite opposition

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Two drug traffickers were hanged in Singapore on Thursday, bringing the number of executions this year in the city-state to four despite growing calls to abolish its death penalty. Activists said the prison department handed the belongings and death certificates for Malaysian national Kalwant Singh and Singaporean Norasharee Gous to […]
22 hours ago
Local campaign poster bulletin board for upper house election is seen Monday, July 4, 2022, in Yoko...
Associated Press

‘Hopeless’: Japan’s weak opposition no match for ruling LDP

TOKYO (AP) — Ahead of Sunday’s parliamentary elections, nearly a dozen opposition parties are trying to topple the Liberal Democratic Party, which has ruled, almost without interruption, since the end of World War II. These include a party whose sole platform is a call to boycott public broadcaster NHK, and a party whose trademark is […]
22 hours ago
Park Sang-hak, a North Korean defector-turned-activist, holds to release a balloon bearing masks an...
Associated Press

S Korean group floats balloons toward North amid animosities

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A South Korea activist said Thursday he launched more huge balloons carrying COVID-19 relief items toward North Korea, days after the North vowed to sternly deal with such activities and made a highly questionable claim they were a source of the virus. South Korean experts doubt North Korea’s moves to […]
22 hours ago
FILE - A house sits in Rock Creek after floodwaters washed away a road and a bridge in Red Lodge, M...
Associated Press

Yellowstone flooding reveals forecast flaws as climate warms

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Yellowstone National Park area’s weather forecast the morning of June 12 seemed fairly tame: warmer temperatures and rain showers would accelerate mountain snow melt and could produce “minor flooding.” A National Weather Service bulletin recommended moving livestock from low-lying areas but made no mention of danger to people. By nightfall, […]
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
2 UN peacekeepers killed in 6th incident in Mali in 2 weeks