Chinese military envoys are in Mali to gather intelligence and assist in recovery works following a terrorist attack which targeted UN facilities in Gao, Mali causing the death of a Chinese member of the UN Mission and injuring four others.
Al-qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb(AQIM) has claimed responsibilty for the attack after reporting on social media that they had battled with “crusader occupation forces,” a monitoring firm SITE intelligence Group said.Two of those seriously wounded were later transferred to Senegal due to lack of equipment for treatment in Mali.
Chinese Ambassador to Senegal, Zhang Xun visited the wounded soldiers on Friday.
“There is a big open wound on his left thigh, roughly 20 by 20 centimeters squared, to which we did a radical debridement during the surgery. We’ve also done a manual reposition to the fracture on his right calf, with plaster for external fixation. There will be further surgical treatment,” Chinese surgeon, Wang Hongyi who has been supervising one of the soldiers said.
The wounded peacekeepers hope to continue with their mission after recovery.
“When I recover, I hope to go back to join my comrades and finish what we started,” one of the wounded peacekeepers, Si Chongchang said.
The Chinese government had condemned the attack on Wednesday calling for immediate investigations by UN and Malian government.
“The Chinese military is shocked by this terrorist attack,” Defense Ministry spokesperson Wu Qian said in a statement.
The UN is concerned by the recent series of attacks directed against MINUSMA which have killed 12 peacekeepers and injured many in May alone.
“In the coming days, the Secretary-General intends to present to the Security Council proposals to strengthen the Mission’s posture and capabilities. He reiterates the long-standing demand to ensure that MINUSMA forces are adequately equipped to operate in a dangerous and unpredictable environment such as Mali,” a spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said.
China started participating in the United Nations peacekeeping operations in 1990. More than 2400 of its peacekeepers have been assigned in UN missions across Africa.