By Ebi Kesiena
The United Nations has announced the completion of the withdrawal of its peacekeeping mission MINUSMA from Mali, marking the end of the UN’s decade-long presence in the country.
In an official statement on Monday, El-Ghassum Wane, the chief of MINUSMA, affirmed that despite the withdrawal, various UN entities, funds, agencies, and programs have been present in Mali before MINUSMA’s deployment and will persist beyond the mission’s exit.
Wane stated, “U.N. funds, agencies, and programs were in Mali well before the deployment of MINUSMA and will stay in Mali well after the withdrawal.”
Security experts warn the area could now become the focus of a struggle in the north as rebel groups and the army seek to take areas that the UN has left, further destabilising Mali, where militants roam.
Violence in Mali has spiked since June when the military junta which took power in a 2021 coup ordered the UN’s decade-old peacekeeping mission to leave.
The peacekeeping mission in Mali was initiated in 2013, responding to a violent uprising led by separatist rebels seeking control of the northern region and a subsequent military coup.
Over the years, Mali has evolved into the epicenter of a violent movement that has extended its impact across West Africa, displacing millions of people