Egypt will withdraw peacekeeping role in Mali, says the UN
Egypt’s participation in the peacekeeping force in Mali is going to be suspended by the middle of August, according to the United Nations mission in Mali. The mission cites the fact that Egyptian forces have been subjected to lethal attacks.
According to the officials, there have been seven Egyptian peacekeepers that have been slain in Mali so far in this year.
On Friday, Olivier Salgado, the spokesman for the United Nations mission in Mali, confirmed that Egypt will temporarily halt its activity in Mali. Salgado was speaking on behalf of the mission.
“We confirm that Egypt, through its Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, expressed its concern at the beginning of the week at the increase in attacks against its peacekeepers who escort the convoys supplying our bases in the center and northern Mali. These attacks have caused the death of 7 Egyptian soldiers since the beginning of the year. We have been informed that as a result, the Egyptian contingent will temporarily suspend its activities within MINUSMA as of August 15,” he explained it further in a statement.
The United Nations has emphasized that it places a high focus on ensuring the well-being of its peacekeepers.
At the moment, Egypt is providing the United Nations operation in Mali with around 1,030 troops in addition to 24 staff officers.
Since 2012, Mali has had a hard time holding back an insurrection driven by Islamic extremists. Extremist rebels were ousted from power in Mali’s northern cities with the assistance of a military operation spearheaded by France; nevertheless, the rebels quickly regrouped in the desert and began assaulting the Malian army and its allies shortly after. Attacks on civilians and United Nations peacekeepers have taken place in the country’s northern and central regions, leading to an increase in the level of insecurity.
Since 2013, the United Nations force in Mali has reported that more than 250 of its soldiers and other staff have been killed in the country. As a result, the United Nations’ peacekeeping mission in Mali is the one that faces the greatest risk among its dozen other locations throughout the world.