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UN ends Mali peacekeeping mission at government request
The United Nations Security Council has voted to end a decade-old peacekeeping mission in Mali after the country’s Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop called the operation a “failure” and demanded its immediate halt.
As peacekeepers need the consent of the host government, the Security Council voted unanimously to immediately begin winding down the mission.
Mali’s UN Ambassador Issa Konfourou also said his country regrets that the Security Council continues to consider the situation in Mali as “a threat to international peace and security.”
“Mali remains open to cooperating with all partners that wish to work with it, subject to respecting the guiding principles of our state policies.”
Konfourou said Mali would closely cooperate with the United Nations.
British UN Ambassador Barbara Woodward, however, voiced concern at the UN over the timing of the withdrawal and the alleged involvement of the Wagner group.
“The United Kingdom would not have chosen to withdraw MINUSMA at this moment, when Mali and the wider Sahel are facing increasing instability and humanitarian needs and we do not believe that partnership with the Wagner group will deliver long term stability or security for the Malian people,” said Woodward.
Shortly after the vote of withdrawal which is set to be completed by the end of the year, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called Diop and promised “unstinting support” for Mali in the military, humanitarian and economic areas.
Russia’s deputy ambassador to the UN, Anna Evstigneeva, also promised “comprehensive support” to Mali, which she said wanted to take “full responsibility” for its security.
Evstigneeva also told the Security Council that Mali had made a “sovereign decision.”
“We would like to confirm our support for Bamako in its aspiration to take full responsibility and play the leading role in stabilizing the Malian state,” she said. “Russia will continue to provide comprehensive support to Mali for normalizing the situation in that country on a bilateral basis.”
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