UN Security Council Condemns Mali Attack

The United Nations Security Council has condemned militants behind an attack that killed at least two Chadian troops from the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali and injured six others.
Troops of the French-led Serval Operation in Mali prepare to patrol an area in Gao on October 16, 2013.
Troops of the French-led Serval Operation in Mali prepare to patrol an area in Gao on October 16, 2013.

The bomb attack took place on a checkpoint at the entry to the northern town of Tessalit on Wednesday morning. One child also died in the deadly incident.

“The members of the Security Council reiterated their full support for MINUSMA and French forces who support it,” the 15-member body said in a unanimously agreed declaration.

They called on the Malian government to “swiftly investigate the attack and bring the perpetrators to justice.”

The UN force, known as MINUSMA, took over security duties in July from a UN-backed African force in Mali. It has some 5,200 troops of its mandated strength of more than 12,000 military personnel.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the attack “will not affect the determination of the United Nations to support the restoration of security, stability and lasting peace in Mali”.

A splinter group of the Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack.

Earlier this month, Mali’s Tuareg and Arab rebels said they would resume peace negotiations with the government.

The rebels, who are fighting to gain autonomy in the northern region of the country, made the announcement on October 5, nine days after they staged a walkout from the talks, which were held in Ouagadougou, the capital of neighboring Burkina Faso.

The truce accord was mediated by regional African powers, the United Nations and the European Union.

France launched a war in Mali on January 11 under the pretext of halting the advance of rebel fighters in the country.

On February 1, Amnesty International said “serious human rights breaches” — including the killing of children — were occurring in the French war in Mali.

Chaos broke out in the West African country after Malian President Amadou Toumani Touré was toppled in a military coup on March 22, 2012. The coup leaders said they mounted the coup in response to the government’s inability to contain the Tuareg rebellion in the north of the country, which had been going on for two months.

However, in the wake of the coup d’état, the Tuareg rebels took control of the entire northern desert region, but the Ansar Dine extremists then pushed them aside and took control of the region, which is larger than France or Texas.

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