UN peacekeeping Mission in Mali withdraws from two camps near Kidal
The UN stabilization mission in Mali known as MINUSMA said Monday October 16 it pulled out from two camps in the Kidal region.
“In a climate of high tension, (the mission) has begun the process of withdrawing from its camps in the Kidal region, starting with Tessalit and Aguelhok”, the mission said in a statement.
The mission also indicated that the pullout from a third camp, at Kidal itself, could be accelerated if necessary. At the request of transitional authorities in power, the UN Security Council ordered in June 2023 the withdrawal by December 31st of the mission present in the country since 2013.
Bamako has accused the mission for failing to end violence in the country, especially in the north controlled by rebel groups and terrorist organizations. The Malian army has sent troops in the north to secure the camps that rebels, predominantly Tuareg separatist groups, do not want to see in the hands of authorities.
The rebels and terror groups chiefly the Al-Qaeda-linked Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM) have increased attacks against military positions recently.
The UN last week expressed concerns about the ongoing warfare between the Malian Army and rebels on one side, and terrorist groups on the other. The mission hinted at an extension of the withdrawal deadline.
However Abdoullaye Diop, the country’s top diplomat, late last week re-iterated authorities’ commitment to the end of December deadline. The diplomat underlined the country’s position during a meeting with the diplomatic corps, in a reaction to the UN concerns.