February 23, 2019

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    UN peacekeepers killed in Mali : Bodies flown here

    January 27, 2019

    The bodies of the two Sri Lankan United Nations peacekeepers killed in Mali following an attack on the convoy they were travelling in, will be flown to Sri Lanka on Wednesday (30). The Army identified those who laid down their lives as Captain H.W.D Jayawickrama of the 11th Sri Lanka Light Infantry, a resident of Polonnaruwa and Corporal S.S Wijekumara of the 1st Mechanised Infantry Regiment from Polpithigama.

    While the UN peacekeeping mission headquarters in Mali has commenced investigations into the incident, Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General, Farhan Haq in a statement attributed to the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said he condemns the attack on the troops of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

    “The attacks targeting the UN peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law,” he said. The release said that Guterres has called on the Mali authorities to spare no efforts in identifying the perpetrators so that they can be brought to justice soon.

    The United National Security Council also issued a statement condemning the brutal attack on the Sri Lankan Peacekeepers’ contingent. Members of the Security Council conveyed their condolences to the families of the victims, to Sri Lanka and to MINUSMA, paying tribute to those who laid down their lives.

    It reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes a serious threat to international peace and security.

    They underlined the need to bring the perpetrators, organisers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice. According to Sri Lanka Army sources, the Army Captain and the trooper were killed and three more injured when the convoy came under an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attack by a rebel group around 6.30 a.m. on Friday, January 25 near Douentza, Mopti region in Mali. Corporal M.G.S Kumarasinghe of the 1st Sri Lanka Engineers from Panwilathenna, Lance Corporal K.C Pushpakumara of the 1st Sri Lanka Engineers from Kannathota and Lance Corporal C.H.M.S Chandrasekara of the 12th Sri Lanka Engineers from Kekunawa, Maho who sustained injuries in the same IED attack were airlifted for treatment at Gao, Mali.

     

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