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SG/SM/18798-PKO/691
24 November 2017

Targeting United Nations Peacekeepers May Constitute War Crimes, Secretary‑General Warns, Strongly Condemning Deadly Mali Attacks

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary‑General António Guterres:

The Secretary‑General strongly condemns today’s outrageous attacks against the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) in Ménaka and Mopti regions.  Four peacekeepers and a member of the Malian armed forces were killed and 21 others were wounded in the attacks, including a MINUSMA civilian contractor and a member of the Malian armed forces.  In Ménaka region, MINUSMA peacekeepers repelled an attack by unidentified assailants during a coordinated operation with the Malian armed forces, aimed at protecting civilians.

The Secretary‑General conveys his deepest condolences to the Governments of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger and his profound sympathies to the families of the victims.  He wishes a swift recovery to the injured.  He pays tribute to the dedication of the brave women and men of MINUSMA for implementing and defending the Mission’s mandate as well as to the members of the Malian armed forces, despite the increasingly challenging security environment.

The Secretary‑General recalls that attacks targeting United Nations peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law and that sanctions can be applied against those responsible.  He reaffirms the Organization’s steadfast support to the Malian people in the quest for peace and stability in Mali and in the Sahel.

For information media. Not an official record.