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Mali: UN condemns attack and death of Liberian Peacekeeper

Jos Garneo Cephas
Some of the Liberian soldiers on patrol in Mali
Some of the Liberian soldiers on patrol in Mali

MONROVIA-LIBERIA-The United Nations Security Council has condemned “in the strongest terms” a rocket attack on the peacekeeping camp in Mali that killed one and wounded nine others.

The council is demanding the Malian government swiftly investigate the attack and bring those responsible to justice.

Liberia’s Defense Minister, Brownie Samukai has confirmed the death of one the Liberia soldiers on the UN mission including those wounded as well but said was adopting the United Nations Protocol in informing the family.

On Wednesday, May 3, 2017 afternoon, rockets were fired on a United Nations camp in Timbuktu, killing at least one AFL soldier, a signal soldier Corporal Sheriff Ousma, assigned with the 23rd Infantry Brigade and also wounding nine others.

According to the Liberian Defense Ministry, despite the attack, Liberia would continue its commitment with the UN mission in that West African country.

The attack on the Liberian contingent is the latest to hit the mission known as MINSUMA, stationed in Mali since 2013, which should be considered one of the most dangerous active peacekeeping deployments.

Liberia’s peacekeeping deployment is the second after its first appearance in peacekeeping in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the 1960s.

In a statement, the UN stressed that under international law, targeting peacekeepers may be a war crime.

Islamic extremists calling themselves Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims is claiming responsibility for Wednesday’s rocket attack on the camp in Timbuktu. A Liberian peacekeeper was killed.

Al-Qaida-linked militants were behind another rocket attack on the camp last year.

U.N. peacekeepers and French forces are helping Mali deal with the remnants of an Islamic insurgency in the north. Militants briefly took over the area in 2012 after a failed coup in Bamako.

The militants have also spread to southern Mali, along the border with Burkina Faso.

The Security Council reiterated its full support for the peacekeeping mission in Mali and urged all parties to fully implement the country’s peace agreement.
 

 


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