UN Mission Hands Over 9th Base To Malian Authorities

FILE PHOTO: Chadian peacekeepers stand guard at the Minusma peacekeeping base in Kidal, Mali, July 22, 2015. REUTERS/Adama Diarra/File Photo

The UN mission in Mali announced on Saturday that it had left its camp 80 kilometres off the city of Gao in the north as part of its complete withdrawal from the jihadism plagued west African country.

This closure is the ninth among the twelve camps they have in the country, according to a statement published on social media.

The camp was handed over to the Malian authorities, represented by the Prefect of Ansongo, by the head of the Minusma office in Gao, the largest city in northern Mali.

After ten years of presence, MINUSMA closes its base in #Ansongo.

The colonels who came to power in 2020 demanded in June, after months of deteriorating relations, the departure of the Minusma deployed since 2013 in this country to help in the fight against terrorism and the deep multidimensional crisis.

The withdrawal of some 11,600 soldiers and 1,500 police officers who were present in Mali is scheduled to take place until 31st December and has exacerbated rivalries for control of the north of the country.

The separatist groups are opposed to Minusma handing over the camps to the Malian authorities, which they say goes against the agreements reached in 2014 and 2015 when they agreed to cease fire.

These predominantly Tuareg groups have resumed hostilities against the central state, and regularly accuse the Malian armed forces and its allies from the Russian paramilitary group Wagner of committing atrocities against the civilian population.