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Mali: Protesters demand exit of UN force Minusma

Mali: Protesters demand exit of UN force Minusma

On Friday, in Bamako, the capital of Mali, hundreds of people gathered to demand that MINUSMA, the UN peacekeeping mission in the West African nation, depart. Local political and activist groups with connections to the military junta urged demonstrators to attend the protest.

The protestors, many of whom waved Russian flags, argue that the UN peacekeepers’ presence, which has lasted for a decade, is no longer necessary. Mali, which has been governed by a military junta since the first coup in 2020, is battling armed groups linked to Al Qaeda and the Islamic State organization with the assistance of Russian paramilitary mercenaries.

This demonstration coincides with one of the largest attacks by armed jihadist groups on the Malian army in central Mali and with frequent human rights reports from MINUSMA accusing the Malian army of human rights violations. As presidential elections are scheduled for next year, tensions between the regime and the United Nations appear to be rising, and some may not want them to be scrutinized too closely by impartial observers or peacekeepers.


Furthermore, the growing tension between the Malian government and MINUSMA is a source of concern for the international community, as it could threaten stability in the region.

The UN mission has been operating in Mali since 2013, and its mandate was recently extended until June 2023. However, the Malian government has been increasingly critical of MINUSMA’s activities, accusing the mission of failing to restore peace and security in the country.


The situation in Mali is complex, with multiple armed groups operating in different parts of the country, and the government struggling to assert control over its territory. The military junta that seized power in 2020 has promised to hold elections next year, but many Malians are skeptical that the vote will be free and fair. The country is also facing a severe economic crisis, with high levels of poverty and unemployment, which has contributed to social unrest.


In this context, the role of MINUSMA and other international actors is crucial in supporting the Malian government and promoting peace and stability in the region.

However, the recent protests against the UN mission highlight the challenges and complexities of international intervention in fragile states like Mali, where local actors may have different priorities and interests than those of the international community.

As the situation in Mali continues to evolve, it remains to be seen how the government, the military junta, and international actors will navigate these challenges and work together to address the country’s pressing problems.



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