Two UN ‘blue helmets’ die in Mali after a mine explosion

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July 5. (EUROPA PRESS) –

At least two “blue helmets” of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) have died and another five have been seriously injured after the explosion of a mine in the north of the African country.

As explained by MINUSMA in a statement, a vehicle from a logistics convoy of the United Nations Mission collided with a mine this Tuesday morning, which required the dispatch of a “rapid intervention force” to evacuate the wounded.

The UN detachment has expressed its strong condemnation of what happened, while warning that the attack may constitute a “war crime” under international law.

Likewise, MINUMSA “observes with concern the frequent use, by terrorist groups and elements, of improvised explosive devices intended to paralyze the Mission’s operations and obstruct the return to peace and stability.”

At this point, the Mission has stressed that mines and explosive devices affect “indiscriminately” both United Nations personnel stationed in Mali, as well as the Malian Defense and Security Forces and local communities.

The United Nations Security Council has recently approved an extension of MINUSMA, which comes after France and its allies announced in February the withdrawal of the troops deployed in the framework of operation ‘Barkhane’ and the Takuba Force, sent to Mali to help Bamako in the fight against jihadism, in the face of tensions with the military junta in the West African country.

Tensions in the country have been increasing in recent months after the announcement by the military junta to extend the transition process and due to the alleged deployment of mercenaries from the Wagner Group, something that has been denied by Bamako and Moscow, which speak of cooperation regular military.

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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