Translators for German UN troops in Mali fear Taliban
Translators providing language support to German UN troops in Mali are apprehensive about the possibility of facing a fate similar to that of the Taliban. As the UN mission concludes its operations in this West African nation, these translators are deeply concerned for their safety.
19 interpreters at risk for their association with the UN in Mali reached out to the German government for protection on August 7th, fearing jihadist groups.
For safety reasons, the name of the translator for the UN’s German military contingent is being withheld. The translator reported that the terrorists have made it clear that they view anyone working for international forces as an enemy.
Several weeks after the translators submitted their letter, photographs emerged on the internet depicting the tragic demise of their comrade Hachimi Dicko at the hands of Islamic State militants.
A 32-year-old individual from Mali was employed at Camp Castor, where they worked alongside German UN troops in the crowded city of Gao, located in northern Mali.
All of the translators were familiar with Mr. Dicko, as he had previously held the position of laundry supervisor at the camp while working for Ecology. However, according to a source close to his family, his contract had expired before his capture by IS gunmen.
The individual had commenced employment as a textile courier and was en route to Gao from Niamey, the capital of neighboring Niger when their vehicle came under attack.
The individuals accompanying him report that he was specifically targeted by the assailants due to his choice of military-style footwear. Initially, a ransom was demanded from the lorry driver who then contacted the family as per the militants’ instructions.
The translators emphasize that Mr. Dicko’s murder exemplifies the genuine peril they face, given their recognition throughout the expansive desert region.