Mali: Security Council condemns recent deadly suicide attack on UN base

MINUSMA peacekeepers outside Ber, north east of Timbuktu, Mali. Photo: MINUSMA/Marco Dormino

18 August 2014 – The Security Council today condemned in the strongest terms Saturday’s suicide attack on a United Nations base in Ber, Mali, that killed two UN Burkinabe peacekeepers and injured seven others.

The 15-member body expressed condolences to the families of the peacekeepers killed, as well as to the Government and people of Burkina Faso. The most recent attack comes on the heels of two separate incidents last week which wounded three other UN peacekeepers.

The Council, through a press statement, called on the Malian Government to “swiftly investigate this attack and bring the perpetrators to justice”. Those responsible for the attack must be held accountable.

It also reiterated its support for the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and French forces that support it. The mission would continue to assist the Malian authorities and the Malian people in their efforts to bring lasting peace and stability to their country, as mandated by the Security Council in resolution 2164 (2014).

On a greater level, the Council reiterated the need to combat, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts. Any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, the statement said.

At the same time, States must ensure that measures taken to combat terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law.

Despite initial security improvements in 2013, the situation in Mali has deteriorated since the beginning of this year. An increase in incidents involving improvised explosive devices, mostly targeting Malian and international security forces, has impeded the return to normalcy and resumption of economic and development activities.

The situation is further compounded by extreme poverty in the greater Sahel region. Refugees fleeing ongoing conflict in neighbouring Central African Republic and Nigeria and clashes in northern Mali have generated new displacements in Mali as well as in neighbouring countries. Resources such as food and water remain scarce, humanitarian agencies have warned.

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