Guterres in Mali to mark 70th anniversary of UN peacekeepers

New York (UNA-OIC) � United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres will be in Bamako this Tuesday to mark the 70th anniversary of UN peacekeeping, alongside the dedicated men and women who serve in the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

The first UN peacekeepers were deployed in Mali in 2013 following a violent insurrection by separatist rebels attempting to take control of the north of the country and a subsequent military-led coup. MINUSMA is there to help maintain a fragile peace agreement in support of the national authorities and provide protection for civilians caught up in conflict.

But with many peacekeepers now being targeted by armed groups fighting Malian government forces, the mission faces huge dangers. The UN chief will show his solidarity with them on Tuesday, but he will also be expressing his solidarity with Muslims fasting for Ramadan. He himself will be observing the fast during his visit.

During his two-day visit, Guterres is meeting troops and other MINUSMA personnel. He will also meet Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar KeA�ta and other government officials in the capital Bamako.

On Wednesday, the secretary general is set to leave the capital and travel to the regions, where he will meet with local authorities and UN staff, as well as women, youth and religious representatives.

Source: International Islamic News Agency