HomeWorldAfricaUN Peacekeeping mission ends in Mali

UN Peacekeeping mission ends in Mali

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Bamako 12 December 2023(TDI): The United Nations (UN) mission in Mali has ended its 10-year deployment in the country, following a directive from the military government of Mali. 

The UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) officially ended its mission by lowering the UN flag at its headquarters in Bamako, as confirmed by spokesperson Fatoumata Kaba to a news agency on Monday.

The symbolic ceremony signifies the official end of the mission, according to her statement. Despite the continued existence of certain mission elements, the mission comes to its end. Following January 1, a “liquidation phase” will take place. This phase will involve tasks like transferring any remaining equipment to the relevant authorities.

At the start, Peacekeeping forces were welcomed by Malians who anticipated foreign soldiers aiding the military in reclaiming territories captured by rebels in the north.

However, the peacekeepers are now departing without any ceremony after a decade. Unfortunately, the instability remains far from being resolved, with thousands killed and hundreds of thousands displaced due to ongoing violence.

In June, Mali’s military government seized power in 2020. Now, the government has requested the departure of the mission present since 2013, despite facing persistent attacks by armed groups in the Sahel region.

The withdrawal of MINUSMA troops has raised concerns of increased conflict between Malian forces and armed groups vying for territorial control. Over the past decade, the mission had a presence of approximately 15,000 soldiers and police in Mali, with around 180 members losing their lives in hostile acts.

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Following the directive to depart, MINUSMA has vacated 13 positions in Mali and is in the process of closing sites in Gao and Timbuktu in the northern region. According to Kaba’s while giving interview agency he said that the pullout has proceeded smoothly contrary to recent withdrawals in Mali’s unstable north. Even characterized by concerns over military escalation between the army and rebel groups, the pullout has proceeded smoothly.

 

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