Mali Seeks Immediate Withdrawal of UN Peacekeeping Mission

news 17-Jun-2023 Africa

The government of Mali has called for the immediate withdrawal of the UN's peacekeeping mission known as Minusma. More than 10,000 UN peacekeepers, including hundreds of German troops, are deployed in Mali to stabilize the crisis-ridden country in West Africa. However, the government claims that the mission has failed, and it is seeking confrontation.

During the UN Security Council meeting, the Malian Foreign Minister, Abdoulaye Diop, made an unexpected demand for the immediate withdrawal of Minusma. He accused the UN mission of fueling tensions among communities and being part of the problem. "The government of Mali demands the immediate withdrawal of Minusma," he said.

Dangerous UN Mission in Mali

The UN mission in Mali is one of the most hazardous in the world, and more than 300 peacekeepers have died during the mission. The UN mandate includes supporting the crisis-torn country's peace agreement, the transition from military to a democratically elected civilian government, and the protection of civilians.

The French Ambassador to the UN, Nicholas de Revière, highlighted the importance of continuing the mission. "As the mandate for Mali expires on June 30, this council will have to work on it again. It is vital not just for Mali but for the stability of the entire region."

Tensions Between Mali and the UN

Mali has been politically unstable since three military coups in 2012, with Islamist extremists taking advantage of the power vacuum. The tensions between Mali and the UN have increased in recent years.

Mali has a close working relationship with Russia, and an estimated 2,000 mercenaries from the Russian Wagner Group are believed to be fighting against the Islamic State or Al-Qaeda factions in Mali.

Germany Plans to Withdraw Troops in 2024

France withdrew from Minusma amid tensions with the Malian government. Germany plans to withdraw its 1,400 troops from the mission by the end of May 2024. The German military has been targeted by the Malian government in recent times.

The UN Security Council is expected to decide on the extension of the Minusma mandate by June 29. However, a peacekeeping mission requires the consent of the affected country, and it is not yet clear if Mali's demand for the withdrawal of Minusma counts as an official position. If Minusma is withdrawn, the Bundeswehr's troops may need to withdraw earlier than planned.

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