France strongly condemns attacks on UN troops in Mali

PARIS, The French Foreign Ministry on Tuesday strongly condemned attacks on UN and other peacekeeping forces in Mali in which a dozen troops – including one Egyptian – were killed by suspected Islamist militants.

The Egyptian “Blue Helmet” died in the Mopti region after his vehicle struck an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). Four other UN soldiers – all believed to be Egyptian – were wounded in the attack in the central region that took place on April 20.

“France condemns in the firmest terms the attack that cost the life of an Egyptian soldier from the UN Interim Forces in Mali,” a statement from Paris said.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said that the attack that hit the Egyptian contingent may be “a crime against humanity” and he called for “swift action” against the perpetrators.

The French statement also condemned “with the same firmness” an attack on April 21 that killed eleven Malian soldiers in the Guire district.

“Those responsible for these attacks must be pursued and answer for their actions,” the Foreign Ministry statement said, issuing a fresh message of support for the UN mission in Mali.

Source: Kuwait News Agency