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Germany to Speed Up Mali Withdrawal as UN Mission Ends

Germany, which has deployed some 1,000 soldiers to Mali, is already withdrawing them and aims to wind up by May 2024.

With a UN peacekeeping deployment set to conclude on June 30, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius has stated that his nation wants to remove its troops from Mali more quickly while maintaining order.

The troops were mostly stationed near the northern town of Gao where their main task is to gather reconnaissance for the UN peacekeeping mission MINUSMA.

On June 16, taking everyone by surprise, Mali’s Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop, while denouncing the “failure” of the UN mission, suddenly demanded before the Security Council its immediate withdrawal.

The peacekeeping operation, known as Minusma, was the most expensive mission on the UN’s books, costing $1.2 billion per year, now appears set to wind down, plunging Mali — a country struggling with jihadist attacks — into the unknown.

As recently as early June, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had deemed the continued presence of Minusma “invaluable,” despite the high cost, highlighting regional fears of an expansion of extremist groups in the event of a withdrawal.

However, one of the key principles of peacekeeping is the consent of the host country.

Therefore, the latest draft resolution from France on Wednesday, suggests the Security Council will “terminate Minusma’s mandate under resolution 2640 (2022) as of June 30 2023.”

The mission created in 2013 to help stabilize a state under a serious jihadist threat, and to protect civilians, would cease its activities on July 1 to focus on the withdrawal, “with the objective of completing this process by 31 December 2023.”

Source: Africa News