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Mali suspends all new rotations of UN peacekeeping forces

Posted by Walter Gido on

Mali suspends all new rotations of UN peacekeeping forces

The Malian foreign ministry has told the UN mission in Mali to suspend all flights scheduled to rotate peacekeeping forces days after the West African nation detained 49 soldiers from Ivory Coast who it said had arrived in the country without permission.The ministry said it hoped to meet with UN representatives to find “an optimal plan making it possible to facilitate the coordination and regulation of the rotation of contingents operating within [the UN mission]”.

Spokesman for the UN mission Olivier Salgado acknowledged the letter and said his organisation is ready for immediate discussions with Malian authorities.“The rotation of the mission’s contingents is of crucial importance for its operational effectiveness and the morale of its uniformed personnel,” Salgado said.“Everything must be done for its urgent settlement, especially since some of the staff concerned should have been relieved several months ago,” he added.

Mali’s ruling military government, which seized power in an August 2020 coup, has repeatedly butted heads with many of its traditional partners following sanctions on Bamako, condemnation over election delays, and Mali's increasing security cooperation with the Russian mercenary Wagner group. When the UN Security Council renewed UN mission in Mali’s mandate last month, Mali authorities pledged to defy UN calls to allow freedom of movement for peacekeepers to investigate human rights abuses.

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