Mali: Senegalese peacekeeper killed in road accident

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A Senegalese peacekeeper died and ten others were injured in a road accident involving their armoured personnel carrier, the spokesman for the United Nations Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) said on Monday.

"The accident occurred near the village of Fiko, about 7 km southeast of Sevar in the Mopti region of central Mali," Olivier Salgado said on his Twitter account. "All the wounded were evacuated from the accident site and are being treated in a MINUSMA hospital," he added.

With some 13,000 troops, MINUSMA - created in 2013 to support Mali's political process - is the UN peacekeeping mission with the highest casualty rate. The Security Council on 29 June extended its mission for another year.

Political crisis

In total, 177 of its peacekeepers have died in hostile acts, including ten since January. Mali, a poor, landlocked country in the heart of the Sahel, has seen two military coups in August 2020 and May 2021. The political crisis is coupled with a serious security crisis that has been ongoing since the outbreak of independence and jihadist insurgencies in the north in 2012.

The ruling junta in Bamako has turned away from France and its partners and turned to Russia in an attempt to stem the spread of jihadists to the centre of the country as well as to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.

The violence has left thousands of civilians and soldiers dead and hundreds of thousands displaced.

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