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UN chief condemns deadly attack in Niger



UN chief 'outraged' by deadly attack in central Mali

UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has condemned the attack conducted by unidentified gunmen in Banibangou in the region of Tillabéri of Niger.

Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for Secretary-General, said this this while briefing correspondents at UN headquarters in New York, on Thursday.

Fifteen people were killed on Monday in an attack in western Niger, less than two weeks after 33 people were killed by suspected jihadists in the same area, according to reports.

Banibangou falls inside what is known as the three-borders region between Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali, which for years has been the scene of bloody attacks by jihadist groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.

Two attacks blamed on jihadists at the end of July left 33 people dead, and prompted the interior ministry to promise tougher security measures in the region and to bring the killers to justice.

“Guterres expresses his condolences to the bereaved families and wishes the injured a swift recovery.

“The secretary-general reaffirms the UN’s readiness to support the Government’s efforts to enhance the protection of civilians across the Sahel,” the UN correspondent quoted Dujarric as saying.

Briefing on Mali, he said UN mission reported that their camp in Aguelhok, in the Kidal region, was attacked on Wednesday, with multiple rounds of both direct and indirect fire landing near the UN premises.

“UN peacekeepers repelled the attack, in which three UN military personnel and two civilians were injured. This was the fifth attack on this UN camp this year.

“The Mission also tells us that, in response to the August 8th attack against civilians in Gao, in which at least 50 civilians were reportedly killed, UN peacekeepers continue to patrol the area, day and night, to protect civilians and help them access basic services.

“This includes air and ground reconnaissance led by UN peacekeepers, who are working alongside Malian armed forces. Peacekeepers have established a temporary base in the area of Ouattagouna, from where they will protect civilians,” Dujarric said.

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Cecilia Ologunagba

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