world By August 2023, Côte d'Ivoire will have withdrawn all of its troops from Mali
By August 2023, Côte d'Ivoire will have withdrawn all of its troops present in Mali. — AFP
Côte d’Ivoire has announced the gradual withdrawal of its troops from the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali by August 2023, a decision that comes against the backdrop of diplomatic tensions between Abidjan and Bamako for several months.
“By order of the government of Côte d'Ivoire, the Permanent Mission confirms the gradual withdrawal of Ivorian military and police personnel deployed within the Minusma”, explains a letter from the Permanent Mission of Côte d’Ivoire to; UN, accessed Tuesday.
No relief in August 2023
“The next generation of the protection company based in Montreal“ Mopti as well as the deployment of staff officers and police officers scheduled respectively for October and November 2022 can no longer be carried out, continues the text.
The Ivorian army has not confirmed Tuesday if these reliefs had been actually already interrupted. Côte d’Ivoire also indicates that the soldiers and other elements present within the Minusma will not be relieved in August 2023.
No official reason is given for the withdrawal but relations between Côte d’Ivoire have become considerably strained in recent months, particularly after the arrest in last July of 49 Ivorian soldiers to Bamako.
After three releases, 46 of them are still being held in Mali. Bamako accuses them of being mercenaries while Abidjan assures that they had to participate in security of the German Blue Helmets contingent in Mali.
Several mediations are underway to secure their release. In early October, Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara assured that things were going “good”.
London and Cairo Withdrawal
< p>This Ivorian announcement comes the day after that of Great Britain which indicated; want to withdraw “sooner than planned” his quota. London notably mentioned the rapprochement of the junta in power since 2020 with the paramilitary group Wagner, reputed to be close to the Moscow regime.
Nearly 300 British soldiers have been present in Mali since the end of 2020 as part of the deployment of the UN peacekeeping mission in the country launched in 2013 (Minusma), aimed in particular at ; stabilize the security situation in the country.
Egypt had announced mid-July the suspension of the participation of its 1,035 soldiers within the Minusma which has more than 12,000 soldiers and 1,700 police officers.
Recurrent jihadist attacks
Mali is facing since 2012 at; recurrent jihadist attacks and plunged in a deep security and political crisis. Landlocked country in the heart of the Sahel, it was the scene of two military coups in August 2020 and May 2021, and is led by by Colonel Assimi Goïta.
After pushing towards the exit the old ally French at the beginning of 2022, the junta is taken several times orally to the Minusma, whose mandate was renewed in June for one year. Mali had to this occasion expressed a “firm opposition” to freedom movement of peacekeepers for investigations into possible human rights violations.
Stakeholders from the region are due to meet next week in Ghana to coordinate their response to instability in the Sahel.