Mali’s foreign minister on Friday asked the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to withdraw the peacekeeping mission from the country without any delay over its failure to respond to security challenges, reported Reuters.
While addressing a UN Security Council meeting on Friday, Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop, who is part of Mali’s interim military authorities, said that the UN’s MINUSMA peacekeeping force should withdraw its troops from the country.
Diop told the council there was a lack of confidence between the Malian authorities and MINUSMA.
“In light of all of the above, the Malian government asks for the withdrawal, without delay, of MINUSMA,” he said.
The Malina foreign minister accused the UN peacekeeping force of having become a part of the problem in fuelling intercommunal tensions.
Notably, the UN peacekeepers have been deployed in this West African country for more than a decade to support foreign and local efforts to restore stability. The MINUSMA consists of more than 13,000 troops including military contingents from Chad, Bangladesh, and Egypt, which are the biggest contributors in the force. Its UN peacekeeping mission has failed to control the spread of jihadist violence.
Frustrations among the public over the growing insecurity resulted in two coups in Mali in 2020 and 2021. Furthermore, Mali’s ruling military junta has also turned to Russia for military assistance, showing a back to MINUSMA and other international allies including France. Western governments are disappointed about the presence of troops from the Russia-based private military contractor Wagner.
Earlier this week, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recommended that the Security Council extend MINUSMA’s mandate for a year, maintaining the current authorized strength of the troops and police. He has recommended the Security Council reconfigure the mission and concentrate on a limited number of priorities.
But, Diop has rejected all options for extending the mandate of the mission as proposed by the UN secretary-general.