The mission of the United Nations in Mali (Minusma) said Friday it has lost at least nine UN peacekeepers in the deadliest attack against its forces since it was deployed in 2013 in the north of the country remains unstable despite intervention international army. “This (Friday) morning, a convoy of peacekeepers Minusma the Nigerian contingent was the target of a direct attack while traveling to Indelimane, on Menaka Ansongo-axis” in the region of Gao (northeast), said the UN mission said in a statement, giving no indication of the assailants.

“A provisional toll reported nine deaths. (…) This is to date the deadliest attack against the UN mission in Mali” deployed since July 2013 “Significant resources air were immediately deployed to secure the area and assist peacekeepers. ” According to a Nigerian military source said the attack targeted “a patrol supply a contingent of the Nigerian Army” and was launched “by men on a motorcycle.” Three vehicles in which the soldiers were traveling were also destroyed, the source said.

“The terrorists had threatened”

According to a Nigerian officer Minusma speaking on condition of anonymity, he is an “ambush by Islamists Mujao” Movement for the uniqueness and Jihad in Africa West . The Mujao linked to al-Qaeda , is one of jihadi groups that controlled northern Mali for nearly a year between 2012 and 2013 They were then driven mostly by an international military intervention launched in January 2013 at the initiative of France and still ongoing. A Malian military source in Gao said the attack was preceded by threats by “terrorists.”

“The terrorists had threatened to carry out attacks, attacks at the approach of Tabaski” (the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha to be celebrated on Saturday or Sunday in Mali), “they just go to the act, “she said. Last week, the UN was concerned about the “incontestable” resurgent jihadists in northern Mali, where several UN soldiers have been killed in recent months, particularly Chadians who have paid a heavy price for their commitment to Mali.

27 attacks

“Between May 27 and September 15, the facilities and staff of the mission have been a total of 27 attacks (15 attacks with IED or mine explosions and 12 rocket or mortar “said the Secretary General of the UN Ban Ki-moon in his latest report on the situation in Mali aired last week. This assessment does not include five Chadian soldiers killed Sept. 18 by a mine explosion in their vehicle.

According to figures contained in the report of Ban Ki-moon on September 1, the Minusma were nearly 9,300 members of military and police forces deployed in Mali, mostly deployed in the northern regions. These figures included 1,211 Chadians and Nigeriens 868. Peacekeepers have four main bases (Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu Tessalit) and smaller camps in various localities, and are “regularly long patrols in rural areas,” according to the UN. The Malian army in full restructuring, do not have the means to provide security in those areas.

The Minusma “is preparing to further expand its presence in the field through mobile and static means” but “a lot of tasks it must perform in these areas can only be done if progress is made in negotiations Algiers peace, “said Ban Ki-moon in his report. The Malian government and six armed movements of northern Mali signed in Algiers in July a roadmap for negotiations to bring peace. The second round of talks opened in early September in Algiers, but no significant progress has been recorded, in particular concerning the status of the north.