Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council have strongly condemned an attack in the north-eastern Malian town of Kidal that killed two blue helmets and left several others, including members of the national armed forces, injured.
According to the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), the car bomb attack occurred early in the day as the UN and Malian troops were jointly securing a bank in downtown Kidal. The explosion killed two Senegalese blue helmets and wounded several members of MINUSMA and the Malian armed forces.
"All those responsible for this criminal act must be brought to justice," Mr. Ban's spokesperson said in a statement. "The United Nations remains undeterred in its mission to support the people and Government of Mali in building lasting peace in their country.
"The Secretary-General encourages all Malians to reject violence and support the peace process, including through their participation in Sunday's second round of legislative elections," his spokesperson added.
Bert Koenders, the Secretary-General's Special Representative and head of MINUSMA, also stressed the need for those responsible for the attack to be identified and brought to justice. "This attack will not undermine our determination and our commitment to restore peace and security in Mali," he stated in a news release.
In a statement issued to the press, the 15-member Security Council condemned the attack "in the strongest terms," and reiterated its full support to MINUSMA and French forces who support it.
"The members of the Security Council stressed that those responsible for this attack shall be held accountable, and called on the Government of Mali to swiftly investigate the attack and bring the perpetrators to justice."
MINUSMA was established by the Council in April and tasked with using "all necessary means" to carry out security-related stabilization tasks, protect civilians, UN staff and cultural artefacts, and create the conditions for provision of humanitarian aid.
Its core task is to support the political process in Mali, in close coordination with the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
"The members of the Security Council reiterated their support to the Malian authorities and MINUSMA to stabilize Mali, re-establish State administration throughout the country and launch an effective and inclusive national dialogue," the statement added.