A deadly attack in Mali claimed the lives of two employees of the Red Cross.
Since the former colonial power France recently declared that it would be withdrawing its soldiers from Mali, there has been a noticeable increase in the level of concern over the country’s security.
According to reports from the Malian and Dutch Red Cross organisations, a vehicle that was carrying a Red Cross team came under fire in the western part of Mali, resulting in the death of an employee and the driver of the vehicle.
The assailants were reportedly on motorbikes when they opened fire on the car at around 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday near Kayes, according to witnesses who were interviewed by the relief organisation.
They went on to say that the symbol of the organisation was prominently displayed on the car. There were also two additional personnel who made it through the attack.
In a statement issued after the fatalities were announced, the assistance organisation the Malian Red Cross issued the following condemnation: “The Malian Red Cross condemns with the greatest severity this occurrence, which threatens the humanitarian mission intended for vulnerable communities.”
“Disbelief and grief,” was the message that was sent on Twitter by the Dutch Red Cross. During a violent assault in Mali, two humanitarian workers with the Red Cross were taken from this world. The Dutch Red Cross was represented by one of them, and they were an employee there. Our flag is flown at a level that represents a half-staff. Volunteers and staff members of aid organisations should never be the focus.”
A spokesperson for the Dutch Red Cross said that the employee in question was not a legal resident of the Netherlands.
“This is heartbreaking news, and it affects us in a profound way. “In the first place, our hearts go out to the relatives everybody who knew the impacted relief workers,” said Marieke van Schaik, the head of the Dutch Red Cross. “We are very sorry for what has happened.”
There was no quick claim of responsibility, despite the fact that armed organisations are known to operate in the surrounding area.
Mali has been plagued by the presence of several violent armed groups for more than a decade, and a significant portion of the nation has been regarded as off-limits to Westerners for a considerable amount of time due to concerns over safety. There have been increased allegations of extremism spreading in the Kayes region, which has been connected to a group called as Katiba Macina. Although the Kayes region has historically been less dangerous than the north of Mali, there have been these claims.
A significant United Nations peacekeeping presence that is present in the nation and is often targeted by militant groups is still providing assistance to the country’s armed forces.