The interim military authorities in Mali have requested the “immediate” withdrawal of the United Nations peacekeeping mission, citing a “trust crisis” between them and the forces that have been stationed in the country for the past 10 years, known as MINUSMA. Malian Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop stated in a speech before the United Nations Security Council on Friday, “Unfortunately, it seems that the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali has become part of the problem by exacerbating tensions among the different ethnic groups.”
He added, “This situation undermines trust between the people of Mali and also creates a trust crisis between the Malian authorities and MINUSMA… The government of Mali requests the withdrawal of the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali without delay.”
Security Council members are required to make a decision on extending the mission’s mandate by June 30th.
Meanwhile, the head of MINUSMA, El-Ghassim Wane, emphasized in statements to journalists that operating the mission without the consent of the Malian authorities is “almost impossible.”
He stated, “This is a decision that the Security Council must make. But the point I want to clarify, and which I believe everyone agrees on, is that peacekeeping relies on the principle of the consent of the host country.”
The United Nations Security Council established the MINUSMA mission in 2013 to support foreign and local efforts to restore stability in Mali.