UNITED NATIONS, June 19 (Xinhua) -- "The cycle of violence in the centre of Mali must end," UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was quoted as saying by his spokesperson on Wednesday.
His spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in a press briefing that unidentified armed individuals attacked the villages of Yoro and Gangafani, in the Mopti region in central Mali late on Monday.
The villages are near the border with Burkina Faso, and initial reports indicate that at least 38 people have been killed and many wounded, he said, adding that the Malian defense and security forces were deployed to the area to secure the zone and investigate the attacks.
Dujarric said that the secretary-general has stated repeatedly that the violence must end, and perpetrators of acts of violence must be brought to justice and efforts to promote reconciliation between communities must be accelerated.
According to the spokesperson, UN Undersecretary-general for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix has arrived in Mali for a joint high-level mission with the European Union's deputy secretary-general, and they will meet with government authorities, signatory armed groups, political representatives, civil society, women groups and international partners.
They will talk on the ways to enhance support by the UN and the European Union to accelerate the implementation of the peace agreement and the restoration of State authority in northern and central Mali, as well as to strengthen the partnership between the two organizations in the country, said Dujarric.
Mali has been suffering deteriorating political and security conditions in addition to tribal fighting that left hundreds dead since March 2012.