Deadly violence between Malian forces, Tuareg rebels alarms Secretary-General

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

22 May 2008 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced concern today about the situation in Mali, where clashes yesterday between Government forces and ethnic Tuareg rebels in the north-east of the West African country have resulted in numerous fatalities.

“This latest incident underscores the urgent need to find an immediate and lasting solution to this recurrent conflict so that Mali can focus on its development priorities and consolidation of its democracy,” the Secretary-General said in a statement issued by his spokesperson.

Mr. Ban said he looked forward to being briefed in more detail by his Special Representative for West Africa, Said Djinnit, who is scheduled to visit Mali in the coming days.

Media reports say that more than 30 soldiers and rebels died, and many others were injured, in the clashes at an army garrison in the town of Abeibara, close to the borders with Algeria and Niger.


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