UN con­demns Mali sui­cide bomb­ing

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

THE UN peace­keep­ing chief has strongly con­demned yes­ter­day’s sui­cide bomb­ing that re­port­edly killed at least 50 peo­ple and wounded dozens of oth­ers at a mil­i­tary camp in the north­ern Mali city of Gao, de­nounc­ing the at­tack as an at­tempt to de­rail the peace process and un­der­mine re­cent progress on se­cu­rity ar­range­ments.

“We con­demn with the ut­most firm­ness this cowardly and ig­no­ble at­tack which con­sti­tutes a di­rect at­tack on the peace process,” Un­der Sec­re­tary-gen­eral for Peace­keep­ing Op­er­a­tions, Hervé Lad­sous, told the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil yes­ter­day at the open­ing of his brief­ing on the sit­u­a­tion in Mali and the work of the UN Mis­sion there known by the French acro­nym, Mi­nusma. The UN In­te­grated Multi-Di­men­sional Sta­bil­i­sa­tion Mis­sion said shortly be­fore 9am, a sui­cide ve­hi­cle ex­ploded in­side the OMC (Op­er­a­tional Co-or­di­na­tion Mech­a­nism) camp in Gao.

The camp is home to el­e­ments of the armed forces of Mali and the Plat­form and Co-or­di­na­tion of Aza­wad Move­ments (600 in to­tal), tasked with lead­ing the joint pa­trols en­vis­aged by the 2015 Agree­ment for Peace and Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion in Mali.

The mis­sion, which also strongly con­demned the at­tack and which, along with Lad­sous, ex­tended con­do­lences to the peo­ple and govern­ment of Mali, said it was cur­rently pro­vid­ing as­sis­tance to the wounded and had stepped up its ef­forts to se­cure Gao city.

In his re­marks to the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, Lad­sous said the at­tack was clearly aimed at de­rail­ing the peace process.

It was also aimed at un­der­min­ing trust be­tween the sig­na­tory par­ties and the peo­ple, as well as coun­ter­act­ing re­cent progress in im­ple­ment­ing the se­cu­rity ar­range­ments of the peace ac­cord.

Yet, he stressed: “This in­ci­dent un­der­lines once more that ac­cel­er­at­ing the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the agree­ment re­mains the only av­enue pos­si­ble for achiev­ing peace and rec­on­cil­i­a­tion in Mali.

“I once again urge all sig­na­tory par­ties to fully en­gage in its im­ple­men­ta­tion.

“We do not have much time left,” he warned.– ANA

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