December 9, 2023

UN Mission in Mali withdraws over 3,000 personnel 

The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) says more than 3,300 peacekeeping personnel have left the West African nation as part of a gradual UN withdrawal plan

MINUSMA, in a statement said 116 Senegalese peacekeepers were repatriated from Mopti Camp on Sept. 20.

The statement said “To date, 2,680 members of the MINUSMA Force and 596 members of the United Nations Police (UNPOL) have been repatriated, culminating in a total of 3,276 uniformed personnel departing the mission,” said MINUSMA in the statement.

It added that “MINUSMA has, over time, bid farewell to 81 international staff, and 10 United Nations Volunteers (UNVs). This brings the total number of departed civilian staff to 91, and when combined with the military departures, the grand tally stands at 3,367 MINUSMA personnel having left the mission.”

“As the deadline approaches, it’s anticipated that by the end of September, an even more significant contingent of MINUSMA staff will depart from Mali,” said the statement.

The gradual reduction of the peacekeepers is in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2690, which was passed on June 30, 2023. The resolution mandates total withdrawal of MINUSMA’s operations by Dec. 31, 2023.

The Security Council established MINUSMA in 2013 to assist foreign and local efforts to restore stability.

The United Nations Security Council unanimously decided earlier in July to put an end to a decade-long peacekeeping mission in Mali after the West African country’s military junta abruptly ordered the 13,000-strong force to leave.

The operation, known as MINUSMA, came to a conclusion after years of tensions and government restrictions hampered peacekeeping air and ground operations since Mali teamed up in 2021 with Russia’s Wagner force.

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