Ivory Coast to withdraw from UN peacekeeping mission in Mali

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UN Peace keepers

Ivory Coast on Tuesday announced it will gradually withdraw its contribution of military and police from a United Nations (UN) peacekeeping force in Mali, according to a letter by its Ambassador to the UN.

The latter came after Bamako detained 46 of its soldiers in July.

Mali accused the soldiers of being mercenaries. Ivory Coast said they were part of a security and logistics contingent working under the peacekeeping mission and has made repeated pleas for their release.

Ivory Coast informed the UN it has stopped rotating troops and would not replace personnel in the peacekeeping mission in Mali (MINUSMA) in August 2023, according to a letter to a senior UN peacekeeping official dated Nov. 11 which was seen by Reuters.

The decision was confirmed by two senior Ivory Coast security sources. MINUSMA and the governments of Mali and Ivory Coast did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Mali has for a decade relied on regional allies and peacekeepers to contain an Islamist insurgency that has killed thousands of people and taken over large areas of the centre and north. (Reuters)

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