UN peacekeeping chief "deeply saddened" by deadly helicopter crash in Mali

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Jean-Pierre Lacroix. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe (file)

The head of UN peacekeeping operations said he is "deeply saddened" by the news of a helicopter crash in northern Mali.

In a statement released on Thursday, Jean-Pierre Lacroix confirmed the deaths of two German peacekeepers in the incident.

A peace deal signed between the Government of Mali and warring parties in 2015 has yet to be implemented.

Jocelyne Sambira reports.

The helicopter, which belonged to the UN Mission in Mali, or MINUSMA, was monitoring violent clashes between two rival groups in the Gao region.

The two groups are signatories of the peace agreement signed with the Government of Mali in 2015.

Farhan Haq, the Deputy UN Spokesperson, has more.

"At this stage, we are still verifying details from the Mission, including possible casualties, the cause of the incident and other details. We will try and get further details as the Mission goes. Part of the problem is that the helicopter was monitoring confrontations on the ground, and so the crash site had to be secured before the team could get access." 

The head of UN Peacekeeping has conveyed his profound sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims.

Jean-Pierre Lacroix also expressed his condolences to the Government of Germany, and to the personnel of the UN Mission in Mali, MINUSMA.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 50″





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