The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Saturday slammed an attack on a UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) camp in northern Mali, Xinhua reported. “This incident follows other attacks against UN personnel and contractors in the Kidal and Gao regions, including rocket attacks against MINUSMA camps and attacks against vehicles using mines and improvised explosive devices,” said a statement released by Ban’s spokesperson.
A group of militants attacked the camp in Kidal Saturday, killing one Chadian peacekeeper. Ban stressed that these attacks “will not alter the determination of the United Nations to support the Malian people in its search for peace.”
The latest attack only “highlights the urgency” of reaching a political settlement to end the conflict and enable the full restoration of state authority across Mali, said the statement.
Since a military coup struck Mali in March 2012, its northern region has served as a stronghold of the rebels. Mali is now in the process of restoring democracy with the help of the United Nations and African regional bodies, including the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Despite initial security improvements in 2013, the situation in northern Mali has deteriorated since the beginning of 2014. An increase in incidents involving improvised explosive devices, mostly targeting Malian and international security forces, has impeded the return to normalcy and resumption of economic and development activities. (IANS)