The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:
The Secretary-General condemns in the strongest terms the suicide-vehicle attack perpetrated against the camp of the Operational Coordination Mechanism this morning in Gao, Mali.
The camp housed over 600 individuals designated by the three signatory parties to the peace agreement to start mixed patrols in Gao region. While the exact number of casualties remains to be confirmed, preliminary reports point to dozens of dead and dozens of injured.
The Secretary-General offers his heartfelt condolences to the Government of Mali and the bereaved families, the Coordination of Movements of Azawad and the Platform. He wishes a speedy recovery to the injured and calls for swift action to bring those responsible for this attack to justice.
Mixed patrols are one key interim security measure of the peace agreement aiming at curtailing insecurity in northern Mali pending the full restoration of State authority. The Secretary-General urges the parties to continue to work to fully implement the provisions of the peace agreement and to do all they can to prevent such attacks.
This despicable act reinforces the United Nations’ determination to support the people of Mali, the Government and the signatory armed groups in their quest for peace, their fight against terrorism and their efforts to uphold the peace agreement.