UN to probe violent protests in Mali

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Niger Battalion Camp in Ansongo, some 50 km South-East of Gao, Mali. UN Photo/Marco Dormino

An investigation has been launched in northern Mali after violent protests near a UN base in the town of Gao led to the deaths of several people.

The demonstrations were in reaction to an initiative that would establish a temporary security zone in Tabankort following heavy fighting in the area.

Jocelyne Sambira has more.

The crowds surrounding the Mission base threw stones and Molotov cocktails, wounding two UN police officers, the Spokesperson for MINUSMA, the UN Mission in Mali confirmed.

Tear gas was used and shots were fired to warn off protestors, Olivier Salgado said.

"What is important to mention at this stage is that a full investigation by MINUSMA and the national authorities is ongoing to determine the facts to confirm casualties, clarify how and by whom they have been harmed. So at this stage, I cannot confirm any information about injured protestors but the latest reports I got from the hospital in Gao is that we have four dead and three wounded by gunshots and 8 people wounded following crowd movement."

The Mission said it was saddened by this escalation of violence and said that its only objective was to bring back peace and stability in the country.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’01”


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