As the UN works to disband its peacekeeping operation in Mali before the end of the year, German troops have started to leave Gao. On Tuesday, staff members at the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) support base Camp Castor started disassembling and returning their equipment to Germany.
The action is in line with the UN Security Council’s decision in June to terminate a ten-year peacekeeping assignment in Mali, where the military junta has called for the troops to leave because they support Russia. Earlier in the year, the junta brought in the Wagner Group and sided with Russia.
Mali’s UN relations have taken a severe hit since a military regime was overthrown in a coup in 2020, which also ended defence cooperation with the former colonial power, France. As per established UN protocol, the consent of the host nation is required for a peacekeeping operation.
Nine of the approximately twelve MINUSMA bases in Mali had been dismantled by the UN mission by the end of November.
Since 2013, MINUSMA has been stationed in Mali to support the West African country’s security efforts against jihadi rebels associated with al-Qaida and the Islamic State organisation, as well as a separatist uprising led by the Tuareg people.