U.N. spokesman, Stephane Dujarric revealed that the supply convoy was under sustained fire for about an hour from attackers who used small arms and rocket launchers.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed his disapproval about the attack and sent his deepest condolences to the families of the peacekeepers and the government and people of Jordan.
According to the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Mali, the attack was the fifth incident in the northern Kidal region in just one week, Dujarric said.
“It is a tragic reminder of the complexity of the mandate of the U.N. mission and of its peacekeepers, and the threats peacekeepers face on a daily basis,” he said.
Mali has struggled to contain an Islamic extremist insurgency since 2012. Extremist rebels were forced from power in Mali’s northern cities with the help of a French-led military operation, but they regrouped in the desert and began launching attacks on the Malian army and its allies. Insecurity has worsened with attacks in the northern and central regions on civilians and U.N. peacekeepers.
The U.N. force stated that over 250 of its peacekeepers and personnel have died since 2013, making Mali the deadliest of the U.N.’s dozen peacekeeping missions worldwide.
The U.N. special representative for Mali, El Ghassim Wane, issued a statement Wednesday saying the U.N. mission remains determined to support Mali’s people and government in their quest for peace and security, Dujarric said.
Meanwhile, in August 2020, Malian President Boubacar Ibrahim Keita, who died in January, was overthrown in a coup, which led to the swearing in of Assimi Goita, then an army oolonel, as president of a transitional government after carrying out his second coup in nine months.
In mid-May, Goita’s government said security forces had thwarted a countercoup attempt that it said was supported by an unnamed Western government.
The accusations of foreign interference come as Goita’s regime becomes increasingly isolated. A day earlier, the government announced that Mali was dropping out of a five-nation regional security force known as the G5. It was also sharply critical of former colonial power France, which announced in February it was pulling its troops out of Mali.