Mali to suspend all new UN peacekeeping rotations

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Bamako, (UrduPoint/Pakistan Point News – July 15, 2022): Mali announced on Thursday that it was suspending UN peacekeeping mission rotations for ‘national security’ reasons, in the latest complication links between the ruling junta and international partners.

The rotations of the MINUSMA mission are suspended, including those already scheduled, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bamako.

The suspension will last until a meeting is held to “facilitate the coordination and regulation” of contingent rotation, he said in a statement.

The announcement did not explain the reasons for the move.

But it came four days after Mali arrested 49 Ivorian soldiers whom it later described as “mercenaries” bent on overthrowing the country’s military-led government.

Ivory Coast says the soldiers are so-called National Support Elements (NSE) – a UN procedure allowing peacekeeping contingents to use outside contractors for logistical tasks.

The soldiers, who were arrested after arriving at Bamako airport on a special flight, were the eighth rotation under the program, according to the Ivory Coast.

Mali’s statement on Thursday did not refer to the arrest of the Ivorians, nor did it give a date for talks to discuss MINUSMA rotations.

But she assured the UN mission that Mali “would work diligently to create the conditions conducive to the lifting of this suspension of rotation, which is an essential step to allow the contingents deployed to ensure the proper execution of the mandate of Minusma. “.

MINUSMA said in a terse statement that it took note of Mali’s decision but stressed that it was ready to engage in discussions without delay, adding that rotations had a crucial role in maintaining operational efficiency. of its mission and the morale of its staff.

The statement added that “everything must be done to urgently resolve” the problem.

– UN Mission – MINUSMA – the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali – was launched in 2013 to help one of the world’s poorest countries deal with a bloody militant campaign.

It is one of the largest UN peacekeeping operations, with around 12,200 soldiers and 1,700 police sent by around 50 countries.

His mandate was renewed for one year on June 29, despite “strongly opposed” demands in Mali to allow freedom of movement for human rights investigators with the mission.

On July 7, the head of MINUSMA, El-Ghassim Wane, told a press conference that the mission needed the “support and cooperation of the Malian authorities”, calling for “constant dialogue” to overcome “misunderstandings”.

In mid-January, Mali suspended MINUSMA air operations for several days following what it said was a reorganization of the approval process for flights over conflict zones.

The suspension was lifted after “fruitful discussions”, authorities said.

MINUSMA operates regular flights between Mali and neighboring countries for missions to supply and evacuate wounded soldiers.

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