Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has strongly condemned an improvised explosive device explosion in northern Mali which killed a United Nations peacekeeper and injured six other 'blue helmets.'
In a statement issued yesterday through his spokesperson, Mr. Ban extended his deepest condolences to the family of the victim, as well as the Government and people of Burkina Faso from where the peacekeeper hailed. He also wished a speedy recovery to those injured.
The explosion occurred yesterday about 30 km west of Timbuktu. The UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSMA) is in the area to protect civilians, support national political dialogue and reconciliation, and provide support to State authority.
"This crime, committed against United Nations personnel as they carried out their mandate, will not diminish the resolve of the United Nations to support the Malian people in their efforts to bring lasting peace and stability to their country," Mr. Ban said in reference to MINUSMA's mandate in Security Council resolution 2164 (2014).
Despite initial improvements in 2013, the situation in northern Mali has deteriorated since the beginning of this year. Recent violence, mostly targeting Malian and international security forces, has contributed to an overall sense of insecurity that has impeded the return to normalcy and resumption of economic and development activities.