Attacks targeting peacekeepers may constitute war crimes: UN

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-23 23:59:40|Editor: yan
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UNITED NATIONS, April 23 (Xinhua) -- The UN Security Council on Tuesday condemned "in the strongest terms" the attack on April 20 against a convoy of United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

The attack, which took place between Douentza and Boni, in the Mopti region, resulted in one peacekeeper from Egypt killed and four others injured.

In a press statement, the members of the Security Council expressed their deepest condolences and sympathy to the family of the victim, as well as to Egypt and to MINUSMA. They wished a speedy and full recovery to those who were injured.

The members of the Security Council called on the government of Mali to swiftly investigate this attack and bring the perpetrators to justice. They also underlined that attacks targeting peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law.

The council also stressed that involvement in planning, directing, sponsoring or conducting attacks against MINUSMA peacekeepers constitutes a basis for sanctions designations pursuant to United Nations Security Council resolutions.

MINUSMA's mandate from the Security Council began after extremist militias seized control of northern Mali in 2012. After a failed coup, they were repulsed by French military action in the following year.

A UN-backed peace agreement in 2015 signed between the Mali government and various armed groups failed to stabilize the febrile central and northern regions of the northwest African country.

Since 2013 when MINUSMA deployed, more than 190 peacekeepers have died in Mali, including close to 120 killed during hostilities, according to a UN report.