Mali calls for withdrawal of UN peacekeeping mission ‘without delay’

Mali calls for withdrawal of UN peacekeeping mission ‘without delay’

Mali foreign minister has called on the United Nations Security Council to withdraw the peacekeeping force in his country immediately, blaming it for “failure” to respond to security instability in the region.

While speaking to the UN Security Council, Abdoulaye Diop, said the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, MINUSMA, has “become a part of the problem in fuelling intercommunal tensions.”

He added that “This situation generates a feeling of distrust among the populations with regard to Minusma.”

The criticism of Minusma follows Malian concerns about France’s long-standing presence in Mali. The association with France, the former colonial power, ended last year.

However, Diop pledged that the Malian government will continue to cooperate with the United Nations but rejected all means for changing the mandate of MINUSMA as proposed by the UN secretary-general, Antonio Guterres.

In January, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres proposed three alternatives for changing the operation, ranging from increasing personnel to withdrawing troops.

The UN mission in Mali has over 13,000 soldiers. Its ten-year goal has failed to prevent the spread of extremist bloodshed.

This has forced Bamako to turn to Russian Wagner mercenaries, which Western officials have accused of human rights abuses in Ukraine and parts of Africa.

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