Warrant Officer Abul Kalam Azad, Corporal Mohammad Akter Hossin, and soldiers Mohammad Rayhan Ali and Jamal Uddin were killed when their vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device on the Boni-Douentza road. During the same attack four other peacekeepers were seriously injured.
The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) Mr. Mahamat Saleh Annadif and the MINUSMA Force Commander General Jean-Paul Deconinck were present at the ceremony held at the MINUSMA Operational Base in Bamako.
Earlier in the week, the two senior officials visited the Bangladeshi base in Gao to express in person their condolences to the fallen peacekeepers colleagues and to assure them of their full support.
“They left their families, loved ones and communities, enthusiastic to contribute to peace and stability. Like their beloved brothers-in-arms of the other contingents, they too died because they wore the uniform of the United Nations. But let there be no mistake; they died as heroes of peace,” SRSG Annadif told the UN staff gathered at the ceremony.
Recalling the unique security context in which MINUSMA is executing its mandate, the MINUSMA Head urged his colleagues to continue to remain “stronger than ever, united, committed to the implementation of our mandate: that of the stabilization and restoration of peace in Mali. “
Along the same lines as Mr. Annadif, General Deconinck urged peacekeepers, MINUSMA civilians and partners present, to Mission’s action in Mali: “The enemy’s objective is to hinder any initiative that helps Mali out of this crisis. It is aimed at all friends of peace, not only MINUSMA but also the Malian Armed Forces, our international partners and the people. And that’s not acceptable. And that’s the reason we’re here.”