The United Nations is reportedly planning on ending its decade-long peacekeeping mission in Mali by the end of this month and will withdraw all of its personnel within six months, according to a draft Security Council resolution proposed by France that was seen by Reuters.
This comes as the mission, called “MINUSMA,” has faced increasing opposition by the Malian junta, which seized power during a coup in 2021. Earlier this month, the Malian Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop called on MINUSMA peacekeepers to leave the country “without delay.”
The junta has also increasingly sided with the Russian private military company Wagner Group, who began operations in the country shortly after the coup to provide security to the junta and act as instructors to the Malian military in their fight against armed insurgent groups. The UN has accused Wagner Group of committing war crimes and atrocities against Malian civilians.
The future of Wagner Group remains uncertain at this time following the backdown of an armed mutiny last weekend that ended in the group, as well as its leader Yevgeny Prigozhin, being exiled to Belarus. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov did say say, however, that Wagner would still operate in Mali and other Central African countries. The UN fears that their withdrawal will only worsen the security situation of the region and allow for human rights violations to grow.