UN condemns Mali suicide bombing
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