The Security Council on Sunday condemned “in the strongest terms” a deadly attack on the UN peacekeeping force in Mali that killed 10 soldiers from Chad.
The members of the Security Council expressed their deepest condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims, as well as to Chad and to the peacekeeping mission known by its French acronym as MINUSMA, said the council in a press statement.
The council members wished a speedy and full recovery to those injured. They paid tribute to the peacekeepers who risk their lives, said the statement.
The attack occurred Sunday morning in Aguelhok in Kidal region. Apart from the 10 peacekeepers killed, at least 25 others were injured in the attack despite a robust response from MINUSMA.
The council members called on the Malian government to swiftly investigate this attack and bring the perpetrators to justice. They underlined that attacks targeting peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law. They stressed that involvement in planning, directing, sponsoring or conducting attacks against MINUSMA peacekeepers constitutes a basis for sanctions designations pursuant to Security Council resolutions.
They underlined the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice. They stressed that those responsible for these killings should be held accountable, and urged all states to cooperate actively with all relevant authorities in this regard.
They expressed their concern about the security situation in Mali and the transnational dimension of the terrorist threat in the Sahel region. They urged the Malian parties to fully implement the 2015 peace agreement without further delay. They noted that the full implementation of the peace agreement and the intensification of efforts to overcome asymmetric threats can contribute to improving the security situation across Mali.
They underlined that the efforts of the joint military force of the five Sahel countries of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger to counter the activities of terrorist groups and other organized criminal groups will contribute to the creation of a more secure environment in the Sahel region.
The council members stressed that these heinous acts will not undermine their determination to continue to support the peace and reconciliation process in Mali.
They reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, and stressed the need for all states to combat, by all means, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.
Mali is plagued by a civil war and the rise of Islamist militants. The United Nations set up a peacekeeping mission in Mali in April 2013 to help stabilize the situation in the country.