United Nations (UN) South African peacekeepers patrol a street in Oicha where an attack took place in a nearby village the day before, in Oicha, on January 29, 2020. PHOTO: ALEXIS HUGUET / AFP

Mali: Tribute Ceremony for Slain Ivorian UN Peacekeepers

A ceremony was held on Tuesday afternoon in Mali to pay tribute to four Ivorian peacekeepers who died in Timbuktu in the service of peace in Mali.

The remains of the four brave men who made the ultimate sacrifice were saluted by various combat officials at the war memorial at the UNAMID Headquarters, in the presence of civilian officials and in the uniform of the United Nations Peace Mission in Mali.

Numbers were limited to comply with coronavirus prevention sanitary measures.

Jean-Pierre Lacroix, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, shared a few words, “We are partners to the end, as evidenced by today’s moving ceremony where we paid tribute to four of our peacekeepers in an improvised explosive device attack.”

On January 13, a convoy of armoured vehicles of the Timbuktu-based Ivorian Company was the target of an attack by Islamist extremists in the region that resulted in an overwhelming and fatal fiery explosion.

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Lacroix emphasised the combined force efforts and the value of the lives lost to the mission.

“The sacrifice of our colleagues today, because MINUSMA, like the civilian population, like the Malian armed forces, like the security forces, like the partner forces: Barkhane and the G5 are paying a heavy price, of course, but this sacrifice encourages us to do more, it encourages us to mobilise our energy even more.”

The United Nations Mission in Mali has lost 146 of its members due to hostile acts since its deployment in 2013, making it the deadliest UN mission in the world.


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