Three Senegalese peacekeepers serving in Mali have been killed, while five others were seriously injured, when their vehicle hit an explosive device.
According to the UN Mission in the country, MINUSMA, the incident took place near the village of Songobia, in central Mali, as their supply convoy was heading to its base in Sévaré.
El-Ghassim Wane, the head of MINUSMA, condemned the attack and offered his deepest condolences to the families and colleagues of the deceased peacekeepers.
“This is another tragic illustration of the complexity of our operational environment and the sacrifices made by the international community for peace in Mali,” he said.
MINUSMA is one of the most dangerous peace operations for “blue helmets”. Since its establishment in 2013, 168 peacekeepers have lost their lives in hostile acts.
While renewing MINUSMA’s commitment to work for peace in Mali, Mr Wane recalled that attacks on peacekeepers can constitute war crimes under International Law.
He noted “the need to do everything possible to identify and bring to justice the perpetrators of hostile acts against MINUSMA”.