EYEAFRICA TV: Bambako, MALI: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has arrived in Mali on Tuesday to pay tribute to UN personnel on the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers.
SG Guterres was greeted by President Bouacar Keita at the airport and later went to the UN Headquarters in the capital city, Bamako with the peacekeeping chief Jean-Pierre Lacoix, USG field support chief Atul Khare and UNICEF executive Director Henrietta H. Fore where they paid tribute to fallen peacekeepers.
Addressing peacekeepers, SG Guterres reminded them that they are working in an environment where peace is not guaranteed; where terrorist groups operate that respect nothing and nobody and where there is drug trafficking, human trafficking and arms traffic.
He said all these things are interconnected and they create a very dangerous environment, not only for the civilian population but also for the peacekeepers hemselves.“There is no peace without development and there is no development without peace. And to ensure peace and security, we need development so that people enjoy the peace dividends and the whole population commit to peace.”
The north-west African country is the most dangerous place in the world to be a UN ‘blue helmet’, and last year, 21 troops serving with the UN Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) lost their lives, together with seven civilians. On Wednesday, the Secretary-General is expected to visit the regions and to meet with local authorities and UN staff, as well as women, youth and religious representatives.