UN: Four Peacekeepers killed in an attack in northern Mali

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On April 2, 2021, the United Nations reported a deadly attack against the peacekeepers in Mali which killed 4 and injured 19 peacekeepers from Chad. The United Nations mission in Mali (MINUSIMA) said in their statement that the “peacekeepers valiantly repelled a complex attack carried out by several heavily armed terrorists.” They were reportedly attacked in their camp in Aguelhok in Northern Mali which was around 200km from the Algerian border.

The attack follows several others in Mali with over 120 peacekeepers killed since the mission was established in 2013, making Mali the UN’s most dangerous peacekeeping operation. The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) was deployed in July 2013 to help stabilize Mali and assist the country’s return to constitutional order after being overrun by a coalition of Tuaregs and terrorist groups in 2012. This mission was constituted after the unsuccessful attempts by the African Union and France in resolving the conflicts.

Reports of this attack also come after UN investigators concluded that at least 19 civilians were killed in an airstrike by France which discredited France’s claims that only rebel fighters were hit. Such civilian casualties and the increasing hostilities from the terror groups further seem to indicate the need to find non-violent solutions to these conflicts. Many experts stress on the importance of actions that focus on climate change and protection of environment along with dealing with the intercommunal tensions, rather than the deployment of more troops into these war torn areas.