Antonio Guterres fears the "vacuum" caused by the withdrawal of the French force "Barkhane"

Antonio Guterres fears the “vacuum” caused by the withdrawal of the French force “Barkhane”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres fears “Empty” safe at Mali caused by the ongoing withdrawal of the French anti-jihadist military force “Barkhane”, according to a report released on Wednesday 1er June at the Security Council. “The withdrawal and end of operations by French forces are likely to create a vacuum in some areas, which could be exploited by armed terrorist groups.”Mr. Guterres wrote in this progress report on the situation in Mali from March 31 to May 31, a document he presented to the fifteen member countries of the Security Council.

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Bamako and Paris see their relations deteriorate considerably since two military coups, in August 2020 and May 2021. Pushed out by the junta, France announced in February the withdrawal of its “Barkhane” force, which is due to end. in the summer. Mali has thus moved away from France and its partners to turn to Russia in an attempt to stem the spread of jihadist propaganda that has reached the center of the country, the Burkina Faso and the Niger neighbors.

Death of a blue helmet in Kidal

On Monday, the UN mission in Mali, Minusma, was alarmed by a “Exponential rise” in the first quarter of the number of civilian deaths and violations of rights attributable to the Malian army supported by foreign military. And since Minusma, “In the medium term, it will no longer be able to count on the presence of an anti-terrorist force in Mali.”Mr. Guterres warns that he wants to “Conduct a thorough analysis of the situation within six months to submit recommendations to the Security Council”.

Also read: In Mali, UN observes “exponential rise” in human rights abuses

He also deplored the restrictions imposed by Bamako on the renewal of the troops of the African armed forces of Minusma: “I call on the Malian authorities to allow the rotations of West African troops as soon as possible, some of which are deployed for an additional four months, with a serious impact on morale and well-being.” ยป

At the same time, the UN announced the death of a blue minusma helmet, which was killed in a convoy attack on Kidal that injured three other peacekeepers. With some 13,000 troops, Minusma, created in 2013 to support the Malian political process, is the UN’s largest casualty of peacekeeping. A total of 172 of his peacekeepers were killed in the attacks, according to the mission.

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The World with AFP

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