Peacekeepers targeted now that UN is main presence in Mali

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MINUSMA holds a memorial ceremony for nine Nigerien peacekeepers of the Mission who were killed in a targeted ambush against a MINUSMA convoy. UN Photo/Marco Dormino

Peacekeepers are increasingly becoming victims of terrorist attacks now that the UN is the main foreign presence in Mali, according to the UN peacekeeping chief.

On Wednesday, Hervé Ladsous briefed the Security Council from the UN Mission in the country, MINUSMA.

He said that since the UN began its operation in July 2013, 31 peacekeepers have been killed and 66 injured.

Mr Ladsous said the rate of these attacks has increased substantially during the last three months due to the reduction of French and Malian troops in the north of the country.

He explained this has made the situation more threatening for the UN.

This makes us the target for all these spoilers, extremists, jihadists, traffickers, who would want to have the ground exclusively to themselves so as to be able to carry on with their nefarious activities.  (16″)

The latest attack took place just yesterday when six explosives were launched into the Mission's camp in Kidal.

The peacekeeping chief said his team is working very actively on a number of measures designed to strengthen protection.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration:   1’11″

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