The Security Council’s anticipated vote on Mali’s request to terminate the United Nations mission in the country (Minusma) has been delayed until Friday, following ongoing discussions among diplomatic sources, as reported on Tuesday.
In an unexpected turn of events on June 16, Malian Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop called for the “immediate withdrawal” of Minusma, citing its perceived “failure.” While the consent of the host state is a fundamental principle in peacekeeping operations, France, leading the Malian dossier at the Security Council, presented a draft resolution proposing the mission’s conclusion. The proposal allows for a six-month timeframe for the withdrawal of over 12,000 deployed soldiers and police, according to diplomatic sources.
“However, due to continued negotiations between the Council members, the UN, and Mali, the vote originally scheduled for Thursday has been postponed until Friday, which marks the final day of Minusma’s current mandate”Diplomatic Sources
Additionally, Mali has reportedly requested a reduction in the proposed six-month period. If the period is shortened, logistical concerns about the practical conditions for withdrawal will arise. Farhan Haq, the deputy spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, emphasized the time-consuming process of moving thousands of peacekeepers, along with their equipment, facilities, and support staff, and called for a “reasonable timetable” in this regard.
Expressing regret over Mali’s decision, the United States called for an “orderly and responsible withdrawal.”
Tensions between Bamako and Minusma have escalated since the military assumed power in 2020, further straining their relationship.
As discussions continue and stakeholders seek a viable resolution, the fate of the UN mission in Mali remains uncertain.