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In first official visit to Mali, new peacekeeping chief praises Government’s support for UN mission

During his first working visit to Mali, United Nations peacekeeping chief Jean-Pierre Lacroix met today in the capital, Bamako, with President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and other senior Malian officials, whom he thanked for their constructive and sustained cooperation with the UN integrated mission in the country, known by the French acronym, MINUSMA.

Mr. Lacroix, the Under Secretary-General for UN Peacekeeping Operations, also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of International Cooperation and African Integration, Abdoulaye Diop, as well as the High Representative of the President for implementation of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation, Mahamadou Diagouraga.

Meeting with President Keïta, Mr. Lacroix hand-delivered a letter from UN Secretary-General António Guterres encouraging further progress on the peace agreement, as well as expressing support for the G5 regional initiative, as the ‘Group of Five for the Sahel’ – formed in 2014 by Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger – is known.

Accompanied by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Mali, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, these meetings provided an opportunity to discuss the peace process and challenges, particularly in the security field.

Mr. Lacroix thanked Malian officials for their constructive and sustained cooperation with MINUSMA, the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission, in fulfilling its mandate. As part of his first working visit, he was in Timbuktu with Mr. Annadif to visit the Liberian contingent at the site of the attack on 3 May in which one of their comrades was killed and nine others were wounded.

Mr. Lacroix paid tribute to the fallen peacekeeper and wished a speedy recovery to the wounded. He also conveyed his solidarity when he met with civilian and uniformed staff and thanked them for their dedication and sacrifices in very difficult conditions.