At least 24 peacekeepers and a civilian working for the United Nations were killed in deliberate attacks during 2021, according to the U.N. Staff Union, which said most of the fatalities were in Mali and Central African Republic.
The staff union’s annual tally since 2010 showed the U.N. Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, or MINUSMA, was the world body’s most dangerous peacekeeping operation for the eighth year in a row: 19 peacekeepers lost their lives there last year. The next most dangerous was the U.N. Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Central African Republic, MINUSCA, where four peacekeepers were killed.
“Once again, United Nations staff members, especially ‘blue helmets’ serving in the world’s most dangerous places paid the highest price,” the U.N. Staff Union’s president, Aitor Arauz, said. “No one was apprehended and sentenced for such crimes. We call on governments to do the utmost to protect United Nations personnel and prosecute their killers.”
Togo lost the most peacekeepers, 8, followed by Chad, 4; Ivory Coast and Egypt, 3 each; and Burundi, Congo, Gabon, Malawai, Morocco and Rwanda each lost one. Congo also lost a civilian driver for the World Food Program.
Only in two previous years, 2010 and 2020, did the staff union record fewer annual deaths. The staff union’s figures are: 2020 (15 killed), 2019 (28 killed); 2018 (34 killed); 2017 (71 killed); 2016 (32 killed); 2015 (51 killed); 2014 (61 killed); 2013 (58 killed); 2012 (37 killed); 2011 (35 killed); and 2010 (15 killed).
Between 2010 and 2021 there were at least 462 deliberate, lethal attacks on U.N. and associated personnel. The weapons of choice were improvised explosive devices (IEDs); rocket-propelled grenades; artillery fire, mortar rounds, and landmines; armed and successive ambushes; and convoy attacks, suicide attacks and targeted assassinations.
Mali: Growing Trend of Violence Against #UN Peacekeepers
The growing trend of attacks on international entities besides the government units and civilians in #Mali is an issue of serious concern. https://t.co/iZd3vGHXte pic.twitter.com/VF8rpRA9zW
— Manohar Parrikar IDSA, New Delhi (@IDSAIndia) October 25, 2021