The head of the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali (MINUSMA), General Dennis Gyllensporre, has visited a base in the north of the country where ten peacekeepers from Chad were killed and at least 25 others were wounded.
The attack by unidentified assailants happened near the village of Aguelhok in Mali’s restive north on January 20.
A 2015 peace deal signed by Mali’s government and separatist groups has failed to end years of violence.
Our soldiers fought with bravery and with great determination. They defended the camp with success, the enemy failed and flew
Islamists have also staged assaults on high-profile targets in the capital, Bamako, and in neighbouring Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast.
MINUSMA forces repelled the attack and a number of assailants were killed.
Gen. Gyllensporre was accompanied by a Chadian delegation and various other officials on the visit to Aguelhok.
“Our soldiers fought with bravery and with great determination. They defended the camp with success, the enemy failed and flew. Unfortunately, we have killed and wounded soldiers, but I am proud of their response and actions taken and we will continue our operations,” said Gyllensporre.
In a separate incident, two U.N. peacekeepers were killed and several injured early on Friday (January 25) when their convoy hit a landmine near Douentza in Mali’s Mopti region.
French forces intervened in Mali in 2013 to drive back fighters who had hijacked a Tuareg uprising a year earlier, and some 4,000 French troops remain there.
The U.N. Security Council then deployed peacekeepers, which have been targets of a concerted guerrilla campaign.