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Video: The UN peacekeeping camp in Kidal, Mali is a prime target for terrorists

© France 24 | screengrab of UN peacekeeping camp in Kigal, Mali.

Text by François RIHOUAY , Alex DUVAL SMITH , FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2016-02-26

The UN peacekeeping camp in the northern Malian city of Kidal is a regular target of terrorist attacks. This report is from the scene of the camp of the UN mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

When it’s not improvised explosive devices (IEDs), rockets or mortar shelling, it’s suicide bombers targeting the blue helmets. The MINUSMA camp in Kidal is one of the most attacked UN camps in the world.

Deployed in July, 2013, this UN peacekeeping mission has lost more lives than any other in the world. On February 12, six UN soldiers and three Malian forces were killed in the north of the country in two separate attacks that were attributed to the Al-Qaeda-linked group Ansar Dine.

Lost zones

In the north of the country, Malian and foreign forces have lost control of entire areas, despite the signing of a peace accord between the government and rebel groups last June. Worse, the jihadist attacks are increasingly well prepared. The peacekeepers try to protect their base as best they can, but they don’t have enough armoured vehicles to increase patrols.

But just reinforcing the camp isn’t enough, say military officials such as Colonel Bangora Ibrahim Sory, a member of the Ghanian contingent. “We are not safe just staying in the camp,” he told François Rihouay, France 24 correspondent in Mali. “We are going to have to try to take control of the surrounding area. That should reduce – maybe not stop, but reduce – the attacks on the camp. I do think we need to deploy outside the camp to protect it.”

Date created : 2016-02-26

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