In Mali, tolls have grown heavier. Minusma announces that a fourth Ivorian peacekeeper suffered his injuries after the explosion of a mine that blew up their vehicle yesterday Wednesday. These 4 soldiers killed are the first Ivorian peacekeepers to fall in operation in Mali.
as reported from Abidjan, Pierre Pinto
Committed to Mali since the start of peacekeeping operation in 2013, the Ivorian army has never had to undergo such large losses. From about 200 men originally, the Ivorian contingent was increased to 600 in 2019 and is currently around 650, deployed around Mopti and Timbuktu.
The commitment in Mali is not discussed in Côte d’Ivoire. Not even in Parliament, where the military issue is hardly ever debated. Côte d’Ivoire is even considering increasing the presence of its blue helmets within Minusma.
“This engagement from Côte d’Ivoire in Mali is an orientation for Alassane Ouattara upon his arrival,” explains Ivorian researcher Arthur Banga. “In 2013, it was a way to show the normalization of the Ivory Coast and, above all, to show that the Ivory Coast was an important player in West Africa. It was also a way of participating in the fight against terrorism without waiting for it to reach the Ivorian borders, ”adds Arthur Banga.
Wednesday’s attack, which killed Ivorian peacekeepers on the Timbuktu-Douentza axis, also injured six people. So one of them bid under his injuries as they evacuated to Dakar.