Mali Witnessing the Pull Out of UN Peacekeepers

Mali Witnessing the Pull Out of UN Peacekeepers

Noriko Watanabe and Kanako Mita

Modern Tokyo Times

Mali requested the United Nations (MINUSMA) peacekeeping mission to leave the country in the middle of this year. Accordingly, MINUSMA is seeking to close all of its 12 military bases this year – abiding by the wishes of the ruling elites of Mali.

The military elites in Mali have been boosted by retaking Kidal from Tuareg Separatists. Hence, with 9 of the 12 MINUSMA bases now being closed, a window of opportunity to strengthen the nation-state is emerging.

It is incumbent on authorities in Mali and the Coordination of Azawad Movements to reach compromises. If so, central forces in Mali can focus on the threat of Sunni Islamic insurgents.

Lee Jay Walker says, “It is hoped that central forces in Mali and the CMA will seek to solve their political differences – rather than the military angle after the fall of Kidal. If not, Takfiri Islamists will seek to devour both forces by utilizing ideology and chaos.” 

Voice of America reports, “MINUSMA has been deployed in Mali since 2013 to prop up the West African nation as it faces jihadi rebels linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group as well as a Tuareg-led separatist revolt.”

However, military elites who took power in 2020 were disenchanted with the role of MINUSMA.

The international community must listen to the current decision-makers in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger – with Chad also facing enormous problems. Accordingly, these nations seek national security first.

Reuters reports, “Mali, on the Sahara Desert’s southern fringe, has been plagued by violence since 2012, when Islamist militants hijacked a northern Tuareg uprising.”

Sunni Islamist forces with links to al-Qaeda and ISIS (Islamic State – IS) seek to gain from the crisis in Mali – and throughout the entire Sahel. Therefore, it is hoped that central forces in Mali and the Coordination of Azawad Movements can implement compromises and bring fresh hope to countless communities – who are tired of war.

After all, Sunni Islamists seek to devour both forces.

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