Ban Slams Killing of UN Peacekeeper in Mali.
"The secretary-general strongly condemned today's improvised explosive device (IED) explosion, 30 km West of Timbuktu in Mali, that killed one UN peacekeeper from Burkina Faso and injured six other blue helmets," Ban's spokesman said, Xinhua reported. "The UN peacekeeper was killed and six others injured in Mali when their vehicle struck a land mine in the North of the West African country," the spokesman noted. "This crime, committed against UN personnel as they carried out their mandate, will not diminish the resolve of the UN to support the Malian people in their efforts to bring lasting peace and stability to their country as mandated by the Security Council in resolution 2164 (2014)," the report quoted Ban as saying. The secretary-general extended his deepest condolences to the family of the victim and the government and people of Burkina Faso, saying that he wished a speedy and full recovery to the injured. The attack was the second in this month on the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). On June 11, a MINUSMA camp in Aguelhok came under a car bomb attack, which killed four United Nations peacekeepers from Chad and injured six other blue helmets. On Dec. 14, 2013, two UN peacekeepers from Senegal were killed in a car bomb blast in the northeast Malian town of Kidal, a stronghold of separatist Tuareg rebels. Mali had witnessed a military coup, renewed fighting between government forces and Tuareg rebels, and the seizure of its northern territory by radicals since early 2012. The West African country 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). On April 25, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution unanimously to approve a 12,600-strong MINUSMA to take over from the African-led mission in Mali on July 1 and authorized the blue helmets "to use all necessary means" to carry out security-related stabilization tasks, protect civilians, UN staff and cultural artifacts, and facilitate humanitarian aid. MINUSMA's core task is to support the political process in Mali, in close coordination with the African Union and the ECOWAS, according to the resolution. Ee Ee Ee Ee
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