The government has been urged to provide assistance for the secure removal of the United Nations Mission from Mali.
According to a statement released on Sunday, the United Nations emphasizes that the Malian Transitional Government is responsible for ensuring the safety and security of peacekeepers. The UN also urges the government to provide necessary assistance in order to facilitate the withdrawal of MINUSMA.
In 2013, the UN Security Council created MINUSMA, which has been deemed the most dangerous location for peacekeepers. In June, the Council ended its mission at the request of the country’s military government.
The objective is to depart the West African nation by the end of 31 December and the team is fully dedicated to meeting this deadline.
Concern for convoy
MINUSMA completed the accelerated withdrawal of troops and civilian personnel from its base in Tessalit in the restive north of Mali on Saturday, but remains concerned about the safety of a land convoy heading to Gao, some 550 kilometres (roughly 342 miles) away.
According to a notification, the MINUSMA camp in Tessalit is closing, making it the first camp closure in the Kidal region of northern Mali. This decision comes as the security situation in the area worsens and puts the lives of many UN personnel at risk.
An aircraft belonging to MINUSMA was hit by small arms fire during a landing at Tessalit on Thursday. Luckily, there were no injuries to the crew or significant damage to the aircraft.
Constantly adapting plans
MINUSMA will soon begin withdrawing from its base in Aguelhok, another village in the Kidal region, and is closely assessing the situation with a view to adjusting the plan.
“The Mission is continuously adapting to the evolving developments on the ground and a host of logistical constraints beyond its control, driven by the imperative of the safety and security of its peacekeepers. It is doing so in full transparency and impartiality, in line with the principles of peacekeeping,” the note said.
Forced to destroy assets
The UN noted that the swift withdrawal from Mali has caused damage to equipment, including vehicles, supplies, weapons, generators, and other resources that were meant to be returned to the countries providing troops or transferred to other UN peacekeeping missions, resulting in significant financial and material losses.
The message stated that if the 200 trucks, which were being held in Gao since September 24, 2023 due to restrictions on movement, had been allowed to travel to the Kidal region to gather and transport equipment from three MINUSMA bases, potential losses could have been prevented as part of the Mission’s withdrawal plan.
The United Nations reminded the authorities of Mali of their duties and urged all involved parties to facilitate the safe and organized completion of MINUSMA’s withdrawal.