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Monday, March 4, 2024

“Conclusion of 10-Year UN Mission in Mali Marks Official End”

UN Mission The United Nations officially concluded its 10-year mission in Mali on Monday, following a directive for withdrawal from the country’s military leaders. Despite the symbolic ceremony marking the mission’s formal end, concerns linger as certain elements remain on the ground, noted the mission’s spokesperson, Fatoumata Kaba.

Chief’s Reflection and “Liquidation Phase”

MINUSMA chief El Ghassim Wane expressed a mix of pride and realism, stating they are “proud of what we have been able to achieve, but also clear-sighted about the limits of our action.” The mission now enters a “liquidation phase” after the January 1 withdrawal deadline, involving activities like equipment handover to local authorities.

Staff Exodus and Junta’s Demands: UN Mission 

Wane shared that all personnel not involved in the liquidation phase will depart Mali by December 31. The ruling junta, in power since 2020, had demanded the mission’s departure in June, despite ongoing security challenges and crises in the country.

Decade of Stabilization and Safety

MINUSMA, established in 2013, played a pivotal role in supporting Malian authorities, stabilizing the country, and safeguarding civilians and human rights. The mission faced the challenge of managing high expectations while operating in a tense security context.

Achievements and Inevitable Challenges

Wane acknowledged the difficulty of meeting high expectations and the inevitable gap between achievable goals and raised hopes. He highlighted significant accomplishments in areas where the Malian state was absent, emphasizing the impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Malians.

Ongoing Security Dynamics and Smooth Pullout

The withdrawal, despite concerns of military escalation, went smoothly in certain regions. However, the mission has yet to depart from sites in Gao and Timbuktu in northern Mali. The overall security situation in the country remains a cause for global concern.

Geopolitical Shifts and Global Impact: UN Mission 

Following the power shift in Mali, with the junta severing ties with France and aligning with Moscow, geopolitical dynamics in the region have undergone significant changes. Recent coups in Niger and Burkina Faso have also deepened ties with Russia, altering the geopolitical landscape.

The withdrawal of MINUSMA raises questions about the potential intensification of fighting between armed factions and Malian troops, as the UN mission maintained a crucial role in stabilizing the region.

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