Monday, June 06, 2016
The CCTV footage on the Mali car bomb attack.
A Chinese UN peacekeeper was killed and four others injured in a Wednesday morning attack in northern Mali claimed by al-Qaeda’s North African branch.
Analysts said more casualties among Chinese troops may be unavoidable as Beijing’s contribution to peacekeeping grows.
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the incident was a terrorist attack aimed at UN peacekeepers, and demanded an investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice.
“It is a grave and intolerable crime. China strongly condemns it,” Hua said.
Chinese troops did not ‘fail’ hostages in Mali hotel siege, military experts say
US-based monitoring group SITE said al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) reported that its al-Mourabitoun battalion engaged in a clash with “Crusader occupation forces”, referring to the UN mission in Mali. AQIM said its fighters were “thrashing” the enemy.
Chinese soldiers are part of a United Nations peacekeeping mission that has been stationed in northern Mali for three years since separatists joined jihadists to seize the region from the government in Bamako. The peacekeepers were hit by rockets or mortars fired at their site in Gao. Four people were killed and more than a dozen wounded.
The only way to avoid casualties is not to send peacekeepers, but thatwould be a bigger loss
Shanghai-based military expert Ni Lexiong
In all, 3,000 Chinese peacekeepers are serving in 10 regions, including 2,400 in Africa. Most are engineers, transport experts, police and medical staff. The forces sent to Mali in 2014 were China’s first overseas combat troops. President Xi Jinping promised in September to provide 8,000 personnel for UN peacekeeping operations.
With more Chinese peacekeepers to be deployed to conflict zones, observers expect more casualties.
Shanghai-based military expert Ni Lexiong said despite the risk China needed to be involved in UN peacekeeping missions as a “responsible power”, to facilitate its economic expansion, and to improve the military’s capacity. “The only way to avoid casualties is not to send peacekeepers, but that would be a bigger loss,” Ni said.
Gunman killed in attack on Mali hotel hosting EU military training mission
Defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian said the military was “shocked by the terrorist attack” but China would continue to support United Nations peacekeeping operations.
Posted by Coatepeque at 8:52 AM