Deadly attack on peacekeepers in Mali condemned

Authorities in Mali are being urged by the United Nations to swiftly investigate a deadly attack on Sunday which killed five peacekeepers serving at its mission in the country, MINUSMA.

The blue helmets, who were from Togo, were travelling in a convoy which was ambushed near the town of Sevare in the central Mopti region.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the UN Security Council have issued statements condemning the attack.

Dianne Penn reports.

The UN chief made the solemn observation that the attack took place on the International Day of Peacekeepers, when men and women serving under the UN flag are honoured for their courage and dedication.

Ban Ki-moon extended his heartfelt condolences to the peacekeepers' families, and to the Government and people of Togo.

He recalled that attacks against peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law.

In a separate statement, the Security Council expressed concern about the security situation in Mali.

Council members reaffirmed that terrorism is among the most serious threats to international peace and security.

They stressed the need to bring to justice those who perpetrate, organize and finance what they called "these reprehensible acts."

They stated that "any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed."

The Council also reiterated its full support for MINUSMA and the French forces that support it.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1'06?

Source: United Nations Radio.