The United Nations head on Friday condemned two recent attacks on the international body’s mission in Mali, reported UN News.
On Thursday, an explosive device hit a Mission vehicle in the Kidal region, located in the north, killing an Egyptian peacekeeper and seriously injuring another.
The incident took place three days after at least 12 civilians and 11 soldiers were killed in another two attacks in the West African country’s central regions.
“An explosive device hit a Mission vehicle killing one Egyptian peacekeeper and seriously injuring another. In Timbuktu, an indirect fire attack against the Mission’s integrated camp resulted in at least one Burkinabe peacekeeper wounded,” read a statement, referring to the attacks on Thursday against the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
In the statement, Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, underlined that such attacks targeting UN peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law.
“The Secretary-General recalls that attacks targeting United Nations peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law,” said Dujarric.
The UN spokesman called on the Malian authorities to take urgent steps to apprehend and swiftly bring the perpetrators to justice.
In a separate statement, members of the UN Security Council also denounced the attacks, calling for swift investigation and holding the perpetrators accountable.
“Any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed,” the UNSC said.
Notably, armed groups are very active in Mali despite the presence of French and UN peacekeeping forces. Militants have carried out numerous violent attacks in northern and central Mali since 2012, killing thousands of soldiers and civilians.
According to Human Rights Watch, around 456 civilians were killed and hundreds more wounded in central Mali last year alone.
In August, a military junta had ousted President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in a coup and promised to win the war against terrorism in the country.