The United States recently issued a statement regarding the security situation in Mali, where it expressed its concern relating to an increased threat of violence in Mali as the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSMA) begins its withdrawal from the country.
The press statement also highlighted the importance of resolving the differences among all Malian parties through peaceful means and in conformity with the Algiers Peace Accord of 2015, by pointing to the worsening security situation which is highlighted by the recent attacks that resulted in a number of injured UN peacekeepers.
The US also expressed its condemnation of attacks on the UN peacekeepers, terming them as unacceptable, and expressed the US criticism of such violence and the threat posed by the armed groups that operated across Mali. It emphasized the importance of a regulated and safe withdrawal of the UN peacekeeping mission and called upon the transition government, and all parties to aid and cooperate in this regard. The press statement also reaffirmed the US support for the people of Mali, towards a peaceful, secure, and prosperous future.
The UN peacekeeping mission had recently announced that it was speeding up its withdrawal from the town of Ber, Mali due to the worsening security situation, and risks to the mission. It is noteworthy that three UN soldiers were injured during the operation, coming under fire, as the instances of fighting increased. The peacekeeping force had in turn asked the parties to avoid actions that could further complicate the operation. The UN peacekeeping mission had been in Mali for around a decade, however, the military junta had earlier asked the peacekeeping force to leave without delay, owing to a ‘crisis of confidence’ between the mission and Malian authorities.
Author: Khushbakht Shahid is a student of the Strategic Studies Department at the National Defence University, Islamabad. Her areas of interest include regional politics, nuclear deterrence, arms control and disarmament.