Senegalese peacekeepers’ deaths condemned

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The death in Mali of three Senegalese peacekeepers and wounds suffered by another five is condemned by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) which called for swift response from the West African country’s transitional government.

The peacekeepers, part of MINUSMA, were attacked by unnamed assailants near Songobia, south-west of Bandiagara, late in February. The world body’s supreme council pointed out attacks on and involving peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law and asked MINUSMA to co-operate with Malian authorities investigating.

The SC, in a statement on the MINUSMA site, goes further saying involvement in planning, directing, sponsoring or conducting attacks against peacekeepers constitutes a basis for sanctions designations in line with UNSC resolutions. The SC also notes primary responsibility for the safety and security of UN personnel and assets rests with host states as well as highlighting the importance of engagement and communications between MINUSMA and the Mali transitional government.

Terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security the UNSC said stressing the need to bring perpetrators, organisers, financiers and sponsors of “reprehensible acts of terrorism” to justice. Those responsible should be held accountable and all States, in accordance with obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, should co-operate.

“Any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of motivation, wherever, whenever and by whoever committed.”