"We ask the Mali government and the UN to carry out immediate investigation into this terrorist attack."
PIC: People stand in front of the Chinese United Nations peacekeeping forces camp in Gao after Al-Qaeda's North African affiliate AQIM claimed responsibility for the May 31 attacks that killed a Chinese peacekeeper and three civilians working for the UN's Mali mission. (AFP)
BEIJING - One Chinese peacekeeper was killed and four others injured during an attack on their UN base on Wednesday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying said moments after the attack.
Three civilians were also killed during the attack.
Addressing journalists in China’s capital, Beijing, Chunying described the incident as a “terrorist attack” and “a crime that cannot be tolerated”.
She disclosed that the two top organs of the China’s ruling party – the Central Committee and the State Council – had called for emergency response measures to deal with the crisis.
“The Chinese side strongly condemns this attack. We ask the Mali government and the UN to carry out immediate investigation into this terrorist attack, hold the perpetrators accountable, and to work closely with China to deal with the follow-up work,” said Chunying.
China has strongly condemned the attacks. Pictured here is a military tank of the UN peacekeepers soldiers parked in front of the Chinese United Nations peacekeeping forces camp on Wednesday. (AFP)
Chunying stressed that the Chinese government was ‘resolutely’ in support of the international cause of peace, and peace and stability in Africa.
“We will continue to take an active part in UN peacekeeping operations, uphold the spirit of the UN Charter and contribute to peace and stability in Africa.”
China is one of the major troop-contributing countries to UN peacekeeping missions and the second largest contributor to the UN peacekeeping fund.
At least 2,400 Chinese peacekeepers are deployed to UN peacekeeping operations in seven African mission zones, including Mali, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Liberia.
Besides protecting UN staff and securing facilities, Chinese peacekeepers routinely engage in providing medical support to communities and building basic infrastructure in areas of operation.
Wednesday’s attack is the second in a space of just three days after an earlier attack on UN peacekeepers by suspected militants in central Mali.
Jihadists have recently stepped up attacks against international peacekeepers in restive northern Mali region that was previously under their control before they were flushed out.
The UN Security Council has condemned the recent attacks and called for full implementation of an agreement for peace and reconciliation in Mali.