Mali’s junta says departure of UN troops won’t be delayed, sends troopers to northern area


Malian overseas minister Abdoulaye Diop mentioned this weekend the withdrawal of United Nations peacekeepers from northern Mali would occur on time by December 31, regardless of UN considerations.

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The UN mentioned on Saturday it was fearful its drawdown might be hampered by an escalation of preventing within the north — the place rival armed teams are looking for to grab territory because the UN pulls out — and by an inflow of Malian troops there.

The UN additionally mentioned the ruling junta had not given it permits to ship in convoys to retrieve its tools from its bases there.

The departure of the UN peacekeeping mission MINUSMA by the top of 2023 is a part of a ongoing safety reconfiguration launched by the army junta, which seized energy in 2020.

Russian mercenaries and Malian troopers have begun arriving within the north, native officers informed AFP, to exchange UN troopers who the junta has ordered to depart.

“Every thing have to be accomplished to make sure the work of MINUSMA is ended by December 31,” Diop mentioned in a video posted on social media on Saturday night.

“The federal government doesn’t forsee any extension of this deadline,” he mentioned within the recording of feedback he made to a gathering of the diplomatic corps within the capital, Bamako.

There was an escalation in preventing within the north between majority-Tuareg separatist teams and the Malian military.

The jihadist Assist Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM), which is affiliated to Al-Qaeda, has additionally stepped up assaults on Malian military posts.

There are fears that violence may escalate with the departure of UN peacekeepers from their camps in Tessalit, Aguelhok and the separatists bastion of Kidal.

The separatists are against MINUSMA handing over its bases to the Malian army.

Diop mentioned he was conscious the UN had requested authorisation to ship in logistics convoys by street to take away tools from its northern bases and conduct air operations to guard the drawdown.

“We’re working to seek out options,” he mentioned.




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