Ivory Coast, UK to quit UN peacekeeping mission in Mali

(FILES) In this file photo taken on August 07, 2019 Ivorian soldiers of the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali MINUSMA (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali) parade as they take part in the celebrations marking the 59th anniversary of Ivory Coast’s independence from France, in Abidjan. – Ivory Coast will gradually withdraw its troops from the United Nations peacekeeping force in Mali by August 2023, according to an official letter seen by AFP on November 15, 2022. “By order of the government of Ivory Coast, the permanent mission confirms the progressive withdrawal of Ivorian military personnel and police deployed with MINUSMA,” says the letter sent to the UN force. (Photo by SIA KAMBOU / AFP)

Ivory Coast says it will withdraw from the UN’s peacekeeping operations in troubled Mali, a move coinciding with Britain’s announcement that it will quit the mission.

A letter to the MINUSMA mission seen by AFP Tuesday said that Ivorian troops would withdraw by August 2023.

It gave no explanation for the pullout, but Ivory Coast and Mali’s junta are locked in a months-long dispute over the detention of Ivorian troops at Bamako airport.

“By order of the government of Ivory Coast, the permanent mission confirms the progressive withdrawal of Ivorian military personnel and police deployed with MINUSMA,” says the letter sent to the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali.

Rotations of Ivorian forces scheduled in October and November this year will no longer take place, the letter adds.

The rotations were to apply to a protection unit based in Mopti, to police and to military officers assigned to headquarters duties.

Troops and other personnel deployed in MINUSMA will not be relieved next August as scheduled, it added.

In response the United Nations said it was in contact with Ivory Coast “regarding their participation in MINUSMA”.

“We remain grateful to Cote d’Ivoire for the service and contributions of all Ivorian personnel in Mali and for their continued support to UN peace operations,” the UN secretariat said in a statement.

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