What future for Minusma forces after British and Ivorian withdrawal?

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In Mali, after Great Britain, it is Côte d’Ivoire that will gradually withdraw its soldiers from Minusma. Both countries will end their contributions to the UN peacekeeping force sooner than expected. Do these two retreats herald more? What do you say about the future of Minusma and its more than 13,000 peacekeepers in Mali?

That Withdrawals in the UK and from the Ivory Coast are only half a surprise. They come earlier than expected and clearly represent a break with authorities in Bamako, albeit after a number of recent precedents.

Niagalé Bagayoko, President of the African Security Sector Network (ASSN): “ We had a corresponding announcement from Sweden, a threat from Germany. The Egyptians had also temporarily suspended their participation. It is possible that other contingents may choose to withdraw. »

The French Barkhane force itself left Mali this summer. His withdrawal was announced in February and completed in August. Technically, the Malian interim authorities never expelled them, but they had created unacceptable conditions for Paris that made their presence impossible. Specifically, by challenging and resorting to the defense agreements that bind the two countries Russian auxiliaries deployed alongside national armed forces. The latter are qualified by Paris as mercenaries of the Wagner group, which Bamako denies.

Same scenario?

Is the same pattern reproduced for the Minusma and especially its military part? ” Mali has expressed its reservations on certain aspects of the mandate and in particular reserved the right not to grant access to some Minusma requests, particularly those relating to human rights. It is quite difficult to know to what extent the authorities really want to maintain this force, whose intervention capacity they have carefully limited. ‘ says Niagalé Bagayoko.

Minusma’s mandate was extended by one year in June. By January 2023, in less than two months, the UN mission aims to present a progress report that will assess its ability to move and work effectively in Mali.

►Also read: In Mali, new allegations of military abuse in Birga, in the center of the country

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