UN Secretary-General Calls For Streamlining Mali Peacekeeping Mission

The United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called for streamlining the organization’s peacekeeping mission in Mali, reported The Digital Journal.

In a report to the UN Security Council, Guterres called for a reconfiguration of the MINUSMA which was first launched in 2013 to help foreign and local troops battle Islamist militants.

Guterres said that the Security Council could consider streamlining the tasks of MINUSMA around a limited set of priorities to improve its overall effectiveness until the end of the political transition in Mali, promised by the ruling junta by March 2024.

Notably, the council is set to vote on June 29 on extending the mandate of MINUSMA, which is one of the most dangerous UN missions.

In January, Guterres submitted a strategic review of the Mali mission at the request of the Security Council. With the security situation continuously deteriorating, he proposed three options including increasing troop levels and pulling out the mission completely. In the end, he chose a middle course.

“As I stressed in January, the status quo is not and cannot be an option,” Guterres wrote.

The UN chief called for MINUSMA to maintain its current level of 13,289 soldiers and 1,920 police personnel.

Notably, Mali, which saw two military coups in 2022 alone, is currently ruled by the military. The military rulers have increasingly clashed with the Western and European countries and called for the withdrawal of the MINUSMA troops. In recent months, there have been several instances of Malian people protesting against the mission. As a result, former colonial power France discontinue a controversial nine-year military operation in November.

Mali’s military junta has since moved firmly toward Russia. The junta invited troops from the Wagner Group, a Kremlin-linked private military company, to support its fight against insurgents and also siding diplomatically with Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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