If offered a chance to see beautiful Mali, think twice and bring kevlar
Mission des Nations Unies au Mali (MINUSMA) suffered the loss of 10 Chadian peacekeepers and another 25 wounded in an attack at a United Nations base near Aguelhoc, a village in northern Mali over the weekend. This, coupled at attack that killed two Sri Lankin peacekeepers and injured six when their convoy hit an IED near Douentza in the Mopti region, brings to a total of 189 blue helmets that have lost their lives to action in Mali since the UN mission began in 2013, leaving it one of the most dangerous in the organization’s history.
The attack at Aguelhoc was, by all accounts, a classic defensive operation that involved the Chadians standing their ground for hours against determined insurgents attempting to snuff them out. According to MINUSMA Force Commander Lt. Gen. Dennis Gyllensporre, Swedish Army, the defenders fought “for hours” until the attackers broke off the engagement and retired.
The Chadians of the Forces Armées Tchadiennes have lost at least 57 men alone in the country. This video, from 2017, highlights a patrol by a Chadian unit in Mali.
“Many of my friends have died here in Mali. We lived together, ate together. Unfortunately, they lost their lives here,” says Chief Sergeant Mahamat Tahir Moussa Abdoulaye.