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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Off-the-Cuff

Secretary-General's remarks to press on attack on UN Peacekeepers in Côte d’Ivoire

New York, 8 June 2012

I have just been told that we have lost seven peacekeepers from Niger in an ambush in the southwest of Côte d’Ivoire.

I am saddened and outraged.  These brave soldiers died in the service of peace.  

I condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms.

My heart goes out to the families at this difficult time, and I express my deepest condolences to the Government of Niger for this tragedy.

I call on the Government of Côte d’Ivoire to do its utmost to identify the perpetrators and hold them accountable for this deadly attack.

I understand that their colleagues are still in danger.

Even tonight, after the attack, more than 40 peacekeepers remain with the villagers in this remote region to protect them from this armed group.

We have no more details at this time, but I am being briefed as events unfold.

My Spokesperson will keep you informed on developments, and we will shortly issue a formal statement.

My thoughts are with these brave peacekeepers and the community they are protecting.

Je suis profondément choqué et condamne vivement l’attaque dont ont été victimes en Côte d’Ivoire sept de nos casques bleus provenant du contingent du Niger.

Je présente mes sincères condoléances au Gouvernement du Niger ainsi qu’aux familles des casques bleus qui ont péri dans cette embuscade. Mes pensées sont avec eux.

Merci.