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NOTE/Bamako Assize Court convicts perpetrator of attack on five peacekeepers

Bamako, 25 January 2023 - The trial relating to the attack on five peacekeepers on the road to Siby (near Bamako) on 22 February 2019, which led to the death of three of them, took place before the Bamako Court of Assizes sitting in terrorism matters on 24 January.

The court convicted the accused of acts of terrorism, criminal association, murder, robbery and illegal possession of firearms, and imposed the death penalty, which has not been carried out since 1980 due to a moratorium on executions since then.

This is the second time that specific attacks against MINUSMA have been the focus of a judicial prosecution resulting in a trial and convictions in Mali. On 24 March 2021, the Bamako Court of Assizes tried and convicted nine individuals (eight in absentia) for an attack on peacekeepers in May 2015 in Bamako. In another case, on 21 September 2020, the Court of Assizes sentenced to life imprisonment a person charged with acts of terrorism who had confessed during the investigation to having laid mines in northern Mali, of which the Chadian contingent of MINUSMA was allegedly a victim.

In this case tried on 24 January 2022, MINUSMA provided technical and scientific support to the Gendarmerie Brigade of Siby. In its final submissions, the Public Prosecutor's Office noted in particular that this was a "uncommon scientifically prepared case", as the criminal analysis of the evidence found made it possible to establish a link between the accused persons and the direct perpetrators. The Prosecutor's Office also stressed the status of the victims and noted Mali's commitment to protect members of the United Nations in application of the Agreement between the United Nations and Mali on the status of MINUSMA.

Through the General Directorate of State Litigation, the Malian State has filed a civil claim and has obtained reparations of 2 million CFA francs. The rights of the two injured MINUSMA victims were also reserved.

This trial is part of MINUSMA's efforts to improve the judicial response to attacks against peacekeepers in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2589 (2021) in which the Security Council urges "Member States hosting or having hosted United Nations peacekeeping operations, to take all appropriate measures, in accordance with their national law, and international law, as applicable, to bring to justice perpetrators of the killing of, and all acts of violence against, United Nations personnel, including, but not limited to, their detention and abduction[.]”