UN peacekeeper killed in Mali mine blast

 

Police officers of the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) secure access to the Great Mosque in Timbuktu, on December 9, 2021. France's anti-jihadist military force in the Sahel region, which involves over 5,000 troops will end in the first quarter of 2022.
Police officers of the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) secure access to the Great Mosque in Timbuktu, on December 9, 2021. France's anti-jihadist military force in the Sahel region, which involves over 5,000 troops will end in the first quarter of 2022.  © Florent Vergnes, AFP

The peacekeeper was part of the Guinean contingent in MINUSMA, a MINUSMA official told AFP on condition of anonymity. "He was first wounded and died of his injuries at our hospital in Kidal," he added.

The latest death comes amid tense negotiations on the renewal of MINUSMA's mandate. 

A total of 175 of its peacekeepers have died in hostile acts. 

"Terrible news that adds to the long list of our colleagues who lost their lives during their service in Mali," Wane wrote on Twitter. 

Attristé par la mort ce matin, à #Kidal, d’1 de nos #casquesbleus qui a sauté sur 1 #mine alors qu’il participait à 1 patrouille. Terrible nouvelle qui vient allonger la longue liste de nos collègues ayant perdu la vie dans le cours de leur service au #Mali#ServiceandSacrifice

— El-Ghassim Wane (@elghassimw) June 19, 2022

Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are one of the jihadists' weapons of choice against MINUSMA as well as Malian forces. They also regularly kill civilians. 

Mali, a poor and landlocked country in the heart of the Sahel, underwent military coups in August 2020 and May 2021. 

The political crisis has gone hand in hand with a serious security crisis since 2012 and the outbreak of separatist and jihadist insurgencies in the north. The country is now ruled by a junta that has turned away from France and its partners, and turned to Russia to try to stem the jihadist threat that has spread to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger. 

The violence has left thousands of civilians and soldiers dead and hundreds of thousands displaced.

Source: https://www.france24.com/en/africa/20220619-un-peacekeeper-killed-in-mali-mine-blast

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