17 February 2019

Malian Soldier Wounded in Firefight With German UN Allies

Photo: MINUSMA
Peacekeepers serving with the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali secure an intersection in Mopti, Mali (file photo).

A Malian soldier has been seriously wounded in an apparent friendly fire incident with German troops serving as UN peacekeepers. The incident occurred in the dark as German troops were returning from a mission.

A Malian soldier was seriously wounded during an exchange of fire with German troops serving as UN peacekeepers in the West African country, the German military said Sunday.

The incident occurred the night of February 16 as a German convoy was returning from a mission to recover a UN transport vehicle 50 kilometers (31 miles) from their base in Gao in western Mali, the Bundeswehr said in a statement.

The German troops returned fire in the dark after being shot at by small arms fire and were able to return safely to camp.

"According to the current assessments, it was only later discovered that this was a shootout between the Malian security forces and German forces. It can not be ruled out or confirmed that the wounded Malian soldier was hit by German forces," the Bundeswehr said.

The Malian soldier was taken by German forces to a French field hospital where he was in a stable but "life threatening condition," the Bundeswehr said.

The German army has about 1,100 troops contributing to the 15,000 strong UN Mali peacekeeping mission, known as MINUSMA.

MINUSMA has been deployed in the West African country since 2013 to support stabilization and a 2015 peace accord between the Malian government and rebels.

It is the UN's deadliest peacekeeping mission, with nearly 180 peacekeepers killed by clashes with jihadist groups.

(AFP, dpa)

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