UN peacekeeping mission in Mali completes its withdrawal

The UN said only a small team will stay behind to oversee the transportation of assets and disposal of UN-owned equipment

By Reuters

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Returning troops of the German armed forces Bundeswehr who had served under the UN mission in Mali disembark of an A400M military cargo aircraft at the military air base in Wunstorf, northern Germany. — AFP file
Returning troops of the German armed forces Bundeswehr who had served under the UN mission in Mali disembark of an A400M military cargo aircraft at the military air base in Wunstorf, northern Germany. — AFP file

Published: Sun 31 Dec 2023, 9:43 PM

The UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, MINUSMA, is poised to complete its withdrawal from the country on Sunday, the United Nations said in a statement.

Security experts warn the area could now become the focus of a struggle in the north as rebel groups and the army seek to take areas that the UN has left, further destabilising Mali, where militants linked to Al Qaeda and the Daesh group also roam.

Violence in Mali has spiked since June when the military junta which took power in a 2021 coup ordered the UN's decade-old peacekeeping mission to leave.

The UN said only a small team will stay behind to oversee the transportation of assets and disposal of UN-owned equipment.

"UN funds, agencies and programmes were in Mali well before the deployment of MINUSMA and will stay in Mali well after the withdrawal," MINUSMA chief El-Ghassum Wane said.

The peacekeeping mission in Mali was launched in 2013 following a violent insurrection by separatist rebels attempting to take control of the north of the country and a subsequent military-led coup.

Mali has since become the epicentre of a violent movement that has spread across West Africa and forced millions to flee.


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