Two U.N. peacekeepers were killed Friday when their armored personnel carrier hit an improvised explosive device in central Mali in the sixth incident in less than two weeks targeting the U.N. mission in the West African nation that has faced a decade-long Islamic insurgency. U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the device that killed the Egyptian peacekeepers and wounded one other was planted on a road outside the town of Douentza in the Mopti region. Their APC was escorting a civilian convoy and was on its way from Douentza to Timbuktu when it hit the device, he said. “The intent is to disrupt the lives of the Malian people, to disrupt transport, to disrupt security,” Dujarric said. “These roads are used by civilians, civilian trucks, civilian buses, but also by the security forces, whether it’s the Malian army or U.N. peacekeepers … (who) have been victims over and over again of improvised explosive devices.” It was the sixth incident in which a U.N. peacekeeping mission convoy was hit since May 22 and the second fatal attack on a convoy this week, the U.N. spokesman said. A U.N. peacekeeping convoy was attacked by suspected terrorists in the northern Kidal region on Wednesday and a Jordanian peacekeeper was killed and three other Jordanians were wounded. Dujarric said the supply convoy came under sustained fire for about an hour from attackers who used small arms and rocket launchers. READ: International Day of UN Peacekeepers on Sunday Mali has been in turmoil since a 2012 uprising prompted mutinous soldiers to overthrow the president. The power vacuum that resulted ultimately led to an Islamic insurgency and a French-led war that ousted the jihadists from power in 2013. But insurgents remain active and extremist groups affiliated with al-Qaida and the Islamic State group have moved from the arid north to more populated central Mali since 2015, stoking animosity and violence between ethnic groups in the region. Mali’s current ruling junta seized power in August 2020, and in April the junta leaders said a transition to civilian, democratic rule would take at least two years. The U.N. Security Council and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly condemned Friday’s attack in separate statements and called on Mali’s transitional government to swiftly identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice. They both underlined that attacks on peacekeepers may constitute war crimes. The secretary-general “pays tribute to the determination and the courage of peacekeepers, who continue to implement their mandates in extremely challenging circumstances in support of the people of Mali,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. The Security Council stressed that involvement in planning, directing, sponsoring or conducting attacks against peacekeepers also constitutes a basis for U.N. sanctions. Council members “expressed their concern about the security situation in Mali and the transnational dimension of the terrorist threat in the Sahel region” and urged full implementation of a 2015 peace agreement “without further delay.” The U.N. mission says over 255 of its peacekeepers and personnel have died since 2013, making Mali the deadliest of the U.N.’s dozen peacekeeping missions worldwide. “The word grateful isn’t strong enough to express how we feel towards those member states which continue to provide many peacekeepers around the world,” Dujarric said. “Egyptians, Jordanians, Chadians and others have given their lives for the people of Mali for the cause of peace and we’re eternally grateful for their continued support.” The head of the U.N. mission in Mali, El Ghassim Wane, condemned Friday’s attack on the U.N. convoy, saying such attacks can constitute war crimes. He also condemned an attack Wednesday near Kayes in western Mali by gunmen riding motorcycles against a vehicle marked with the Red Cross emblem that killed a worker for the Dutch Red Cross and the car’s driver.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said Bangladesh is ready to send more members to the UN peacekeeping missions as the country is committed to playing a stronger role in the establishment of world peace. “If needed further, we’re ready to send the required number of peacekeepers in response to the call of the United Nations,” she said. The prime minister was addressing a programme of the International Day of UN Peacekeepers 2022, held at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) here, through a videoconference from her official residence Ganobhaban. “We are committed to playing a stronger role in the establishment of world peace, keeping in view ‘People Peace Progress: the Power of Partnership,’ the theme of the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers-2022,” she said. Hasina called upon all Bangladeshi peacekeepers, including ones of the Bangladesh Army, Navy, Air Force and Police, to carry out their respective responsibilities with sincerity while maintaining professionalism and integrity in the global peacekeeping operations. She also asked them to try to keep their lives protected in the missions and brighten the image of the country on the world stage. “Keep it in mind always that self-confidence is the most important thing in performing any duty. So, you all should carry out your respective duty with confidence. If so, you will be successful,” she said. Noting that a war following the Coronavirus pandemic is now badly affecting the world economy, she said, “We don’t want any conflict or war. We want peace to be established throughout the world.” The premier said Bangladesh currently has 6,825 members in UN peacekeeping missions. They account for 9.2 per cent of a total of 75,516 peacekeepers from 121 countries deployed in establishing world peace. At present, 519 women peacekeepers from Bangladesh are engaged in world peacekeeping operations, she said, adding that the participation of women peacekeepers from Bangladesh armed forces and police is on a gradual rise. She said Bangladeshi peacekeepers have successfully completed 55 missions in different countries in the world. Now Bangladeshi peacekeepers are engaged in 13 missions around the world. READ: CAR landmine blast injures 3 Bangladeshi UN peacekeepers
The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers will be celebrated in Bangladesh on Sunday as elsewhere in the world. The Inter-Services Public Relations Directorate (ISPR) will arrange a number of programmes on the day. A programme commemorating the peacekeepers will be held at Bangabandhu International Conference Center in Dhaka Sunday morning. Also read: Bangladesh to observe UN Peacekeepers Day on Sunday The families and relatives of the injured and martyred peacekeepers will be honoured at the programme. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will join the programme through video-conferencing. President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have issued separate messages on the occasion. President Abdul Hamid in his message said he hopes that Bangladeshi peacekeepers who are performing their duties with honesty, devotion and professionalism will be able to continue this trend for establishing world peace, harmony, and amity. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina reiterated her full support to the UN for the protection and promotion of world peace on behalf of the government and the people of Bangladesh. Also read: UN honours 2 Bangladeshi fallen peacekeepers “Bangladesh today has become one of the largest troops contributing nations in the UN peacekeeping missions. The unique contribution of our peacekeepers to the UN multinational forces has brightened the image of the nation and made Bangladesh a dignified country in the world, she said. Special supplements will be published by the national dailies to highlight the significance of the day.
Bangladesh will observe International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers on May 29. A number of activities will be arranged on the day, the Inter-Services Public Relations Directorate (ISPR) said in a release on Friday. A programme commemorating the peacekeepers will be held at Bangabandhu International Conference Center in Dhaka on Sunday morning. READ: UN honours 2 Bangladeshi fallen peacekeepers The families and relatives of the injured and martyred peacekeepers will be honoured at the programme. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will join the programme as the chief guest via video-conferencing. Law Minister Anisul Huq will be present as the chief guest at Peacekeepers Day Run- 2022. Special journals and supplements will be published by the national dailies to highlight the significance of the day and talk shows will be aired by TV channels, according to the release. Documentaries on Bangladesh's peacekeeping activities will also be aired. Members of the cabinet, ambassadors and high commissioners of different countries, UN resident coordinator in Bangladesh, chiefs of the armed forces, military adviser to the UN Peacekeeping Mission, members of parliament, Principal Staff Officer (PSO) of the armed forces, inspector general of police, senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, senior military and civilian officials including media personalities will be present at the programme.
Bangladesh Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Rabab Fatima has received the ‘Dag Hammarskjold Medal’ awarded posthumously to two Bangladeshi fallen peacekeepers. Fallen peacekeepers Major A K M Mahmudul Hasan was serving in MINUSCA and Lance Corporal Md. Rabiul Mollah was serving in UNMISS. Also read: UN Peacekeeping: 12 global HR bodies seek ban on RAB Ambassador Fatima re also signed the condolence book kept in the UNHQs. Bangladesh is currently the top contributor of uniformed personnel to UN peacekeeping operations and around 6802 Bangladeshi peacekeepers are deployed in 9 peacekeeping missions at present. So far, 161 peacekeepers from Bangladesh have lost their lives while serving in UN peacekeeping operations.
Bangladesh and Kuwait will chart out a comprehensive roadmap together in the next five years to boost bilateral cooperation in several sectors, including setting up an oil refinery. The decision came from a bilateral meeting held between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah at the United Nations Headquarters on Tuesday, said Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen at a press briefing in New York. “The Kuwaiti Prime Minister thinks that Kuwait and Bangladesh should together prepare a roadmap and design actionable programmes in the next five years so that our relations are strengthened further,” he said. Read: Hasina woos US investors; offers attractive facilities He said the foreign ministers of the two countries will sit in a meeting to chart out the roadmap. “We’ll work out the details.” Noting that five big projects are now being implemented with finance from Kuwait fund, he said Bangladesh wants more and Kuwait is also keen for more projects. “Kuwait wants to undertake different projects…. They’ve taken the initiative to establish an oil refinery in Bangladesh. Our Prime Minister (Sheikh Hasina) said we’ll surely provide them land for the refinery. We’ll be happy if they set up a refinery in our country,” said Dr Momen. He said a preliminary proposal came from Kuwait to set up a refinery and it will now be more solidified. “It was a very fruitful meeting. Because, this will give us a big push for developing a solid relationship with Bangladesh and Kuwait,” he said, adding that an excellent relation is now prevailing between the two countries. Some 20,000 Bangladeshi troops worked as peacekeepers in Kuwait since the gulf war. Kuwait is grateful to Bangladesh forever due to its support during the Gulf War. Read: Act quickly to stop rollback of women’s progress: Hasina In this context, State Minister M Shahriar Alam, who was present at the briefing, said there is a contingent named “Bangladesh Contingent” in the Kuwait Army. Still, there are Bangladeshi soldiers in Kuwait to certify their lands as landmine-free areas following further inspection. Recollecting the role of Bangladesh Army, Kuwait Prime Minister said they were grateful to the Bangladesh government. Earlier in the morning, Hasina joined a reception at the UNHQ where heads of state or government were present and then the opening session of the UNGA general debate began. In the beginning of the high-level general debate, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the President of 76th UNGA Abdulla Shahid (of the Maldives) and Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro delivered their speeches as per the tradition. Then US President Joe Biden delivered his speech in the general debate. Later, Hasina had a bilateral meeting with her Swedish counterpart Stefan Lofven at the bilateral meeting booth of the UN Headquarters. Read: Hasina seeks SDGs roadmap for countries falling behind Since Stefan Lofven is a very famous name for labour rights, Hasina told him that Bangladesh made a tremendous development in the labour sector. She said not a single RMG worker was terminated during the Covid-19 pandemic as the government announced stimulus packages for the RMG factory owners. Among the world's top 10 environment-friendly factories, seven industrial units are in Bangladesh, she added. Hasina asked the Swedish Prime Minister to raise the progress of Bangladesh in labour rights internationally.
Governor of Wau State in South Sudan Angelo Taban Biajo has highly appreciated the role of the Bangladesh peacekeepers. The Governor lauded the humane services offered by Bangladesh peacekeepers in Wau and expressed their desire to establish cooperation between Wau province and Bangladesh in different areas like education, ICT and agriculture. The local Governor of Wau along with the provincial Ministers met Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen at the UNMISS compound in Wau province of South Sudan on Friday. READ: Bangladeshi peacekeepers boost country's image globally through dedication, efficiency: FM The Governor suggested that more female personnel may be deployed in the Bangladesh contingent. The Foreign Minister visited the Bangladesh contingent (BANBATT 4) deployed in the Wau province of South Sudan. Deputy Force Commander of UNMISS and other Bangladesh high officials of UNMISS as well as Bangladesh non-resident Ambassador to South Sudan and Foreign Ministry officials were present. Upon his arrival at the UNMISS compound, the Foreign Minister was presented with a guard of honour by a smart contingent of the Bangladesh Peacekeepers. The Bangladesh Contingent organized spectacular fits which were displayed by Bangladesh Peacekeeping members. Both male and female performers displayed their acrobatic and defensive skills. Dr Momen made an address to the Bangladesh Peacekeepers at the Bangladesh contingent.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has lauded the role of Bangladeshi peacekeepers as ambassadors of peace, saying they are actually helping brand the country abroad as a peace-loving nation. "Even during this global pandemic, our peacekeepers continue to serve in various peacekeeping missions, fearlessly rendering their responsibilities," he said on Friday. Dr Momen felicitated all Bangladeshi peacekeepers for their dedicated service to humanity and hoped that their endeavours will help achieve sustainable peace for the international community. The Foreign Minister made the remarks while inaugurating the 'Peacekeepers Day Rally: Run to Commemorate the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers-2021' in the city. READ: S Korean envoy shares historical documents with FM Momen Bangladesh remains a proud contributor to UN peacekeeping operations. It is currently the top contributor of military and police personnel to UN peacekeeping missions, with almost 6,500 peacekeepers currently deployed in eight countries.
The people of Myanmar have huge expectations from the United Nations and the international community following the Feb. 1 coup, with many calling for sanctions and some urging the U.N. to send peacekeepers to stop the killings of peaceful protesters seeking a return to democracy, the top U.N. official in the country said Friday.
Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN Ambassador Rabab Fatima has called for greater international efforts to ensure safety and security of the peacekeepers, including by embedding emergency preparedness in the mandate setting.