Eight UN ‘blue helmets’ injured by bomb explosion in northern Mali

Eight UN 'blue helmets' injured by bomb explosion in northern Mali

The ECOWAS envoy arrives in Bamako to address the transition process with the board

June 24. (EUROPA PRESS) –

At least eight ‘blue helmets’ from the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) were injured on Thursday due to the explosion of a bomb in the surroundings of the town of Ber, in the north of the African country, as confirmed by the mission’s spokesman, Olivier Salgado.

“A security patrol of the ‘blue helmets’ has stepped on a mine or explosive device in the surroundings of Ber, in the Timbuktu region,” he said on his account on the social network Twitter, before adding that the eight injured ” They were evacuated.” “We wish them a speedy and full recovery,” she said.

The attack has been “firmly” condemned by the head of MINUSMA, El Ghassim Wane, who has also wished the victims a “quick recovery”. “Our presence allows us to provide support that is appreciated by the communities,” he argued, amid increased insecurity due to attacks by jihadist groups.

At the moment, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, which took place on the same day that the mediator of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, traveled to Bamako to maintain contacts with the military junta on the transition process.

The organization’s delegation in Mali has confirmed Jonathan’s trip and has highlighted that the objective is to hold talks with the authorities in order to reach an agreement on the schedule of the open transition after the coup d’etat of August 2020, according to what has been collected Malian broadcaster Studio Tamani.

In early June, the board announced a two-year extension –starting from March– of the transition period that began after the 2020 uprising, which overthrew the then president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, despite international pressure for the efforts of the military for staying in power.

Goita led the coup against Keita in August 2020 and subsequently led a second coup d’état in May 2021 against the transitional authorities -at which time he overthrew the president and prime minister, Bah Ndaw and Moctar Ouane-, rising to the power.

ECOWAS, which in January imposed harsh sanctions against the country for violating its commitment to hold elections in February, had called on the Malian military authorities to review their proposed transition calendar and had indicated that a period of between twelve and 18 months would be acceptable, although in the end the board kept its plans.

Mali, like other countries in the Sahel, has been registering in recent years a growing number of jihadist attacks carried out by both the Al Qaeda affiliate in the region and the Islamic State, which has also increased inter-community violence and caused the displacement of tens of thousands of people.

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Written by Editor TLN

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