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UN chief arrives in Mali to honour fallen peacekeepers

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres arrived in Mali on Tuesday to honour the service and sacrifice of peacekeepers around the world, marking the official International Day of UN Peacekeepers.

The north-west African country is the most dangerous place in the world to be a UN ‘blue helmet,’ and last year, 21 troops serving with the UN Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) lost their lives, along with seven civilians.

The UN chief was greeted by President Ibrahim Keita and other officials upon his arrival in the capital, Bamako, and he then took part in a ceremony to pay tribute to fallen colleagues.

The Secretary-General said he was honoured to be spending Peacekeepers’ Day with the “brave men and women” serving with MINUSMA, adding that “at their own personal risk, they save lives serving the cause of peace,” according to a statement from UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric.

UN News has a multimedia team travelling with Mr. Guterres and we will be bringing you a full report from them, later in the day.