UN Security Council ends peacekeeping mission in Mali

UN Security Council ends peacekeeping mission in Mali

The United Nations Security Council unanimously voted to end the peacekeeping mission in Mali after the country’s military junta abruptly requested the departure of the 13,000-strong force. The United States claimed that Russia’s Wagner mercenary group orchestrated this move. The operation, known as MINUSMA, is ending due to years of tensions and government restrictions that have hindered peacekeeping operations since Mali partnered with Russia’s Wagner group. The Wagner group was responsible for an unsuccessful armed mutiny in Russia. U.N. peacekeepers have played a crucial role in protecting civilians against an Islamist insurgency in Mali. However, experts are concerned that the security situation may worsen once the mission departs, leaving Mali’s under-equipped army to combat militants alongside approximately 1,000 Wagner fighters who control large areas of the desert north and center.

The Security Council adopted a resolution requesting the mission to begin the process of ceasing its operations, transferring its tasks, and safely withdrawing its personnel by December 31, 2023. Simultaneously, the White House accused Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin of facilitating the departure of U.N. peacekeepers from Mali and revealed that Mali’s authorities have paid over $200 million to Wagner since late 2021. The White House spokesperson stated that Prigozhin played a role in engineering the departure to advance Wagner’s interests. The Malian government did not respond immediately to requests for comment. Russia’s Deputy U.N. Ambassador supported Mali’s decision, emphasizing their commitment to stabilizing the country.

Mali’s government acknowledged the resolution and expressed its vigilance in ensuring compliance with the withdrawal timeline. The government regretted that the Security Council viewed the situation in Mali as a threat to international peace and security. However, Mali remains open to cooperating with partners who respect its state policies. The Security Council resolution permits MINUSMA to respond to imminent threats of violence to civilians and contribute to the safe delivery of humanitarian assistance until September 30, within its immediate vicinity. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is tasked with collaborating with Malian authorities to develop a plan for transferring MINUSMA’s tasks and presenting it to the Security Council by August 15. Mali is expected to fully cooperate with the U.N. during MINUSMA’s withdrawal.

Mali has struggled to combat the Islamist insurgency since 2012, leading to the deployment of MINUSMA in 2013. The mission aimed to support efforts to restore stability in Mali by both foreign and local actors. However, growing insecurity resulted in two coups in 2020 and 2021. Until December 31, MINUSMA will continue to provide security for U.N. personnel, facilities, convoys, installations, equipment, and associated personnel. It will also conduct operations to extract U.N. personnel and humanitarian workers in danger and facilitate medical evacuations.

Note: The article has been refiled to remove an extraneous time element from paragraph 1.

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Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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