Over 3,300 UN peacekeepers have left Mali

More than 3,300 peacekeeping personnel serving in Mali have left the country as part of a gradual UN withdrawal plan, according to a statement Wednesday.

The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) said 116 Senegalese peacekeepers were repatriated from Mopti Camp on Sept. 20.

“To date, 2,680 members of the MINUSMA Force and 596 members of the United Nations Police (UNPOL) have been repatriated, culminating in a total of 3,276 uniformed personnel departing the mission,” said MINUSMA in the statement.

“MINUSMA has, over time, bid farewell to 81 international staff, and 10 United Nations Volunteers (UNVs). This brings the total number of departed civilian staff to 91, and when combined with the military departures, the grand tally stands at 3,367 MINUSMA personnel having left the mission,” it added.

The gradual reduction of MINUSMA personnel is in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2690, which was passed on June 30, 2023. The resolution requires the complete withdrawal of MINUSMA’s operations by Dec. 31, 2023.

“As the deadline approaches, it’s anticipated that by the end of September, an even more significant contingent of MINUSMA staff will depart from Mali,” said the statement.

World’s deadliest UN mission

MINUSMA was established on April 25, 2013, in response to the security crisis that erupted in Mali. This mission involved over 15,000 troops and police officers from 61 countries, spanning from Armenia to Zambia. The peacekeeping force was primarily stationed in northern and central Mali.

The Malian government asked the UN to withdraw MINUSMA from the country by June 30.

MINUSMA has lost over 180 of its members to date.

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