Mali’s military government has suspended the rotation of United Nations military and police forces following the renewal late last month of the mandate of the UN mission there.
According to Voice of America, the government announced that, for “national security” reasons, “all rotations of the military contingent and police contingent of MINUSMA” were suspended as of Thursday.
The suspension comes after Mali arrested 49 soldiers from Ivory Coast on Sunday, July 10, 2022. The UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, MINUSMA, said it believed that the troops were part of a unit that provided routine logistical support to the DR Congo military contingent.
But the Mali government said the soldiers, who are being held at a gendarmerie school in the capital city Bamako, provided varying reasons for their presence in the country – including that they were carrying out a “confidential mission and that they were “protecting Germany’s MINUSMA contingent”.
Since April, the U.N. has been seeking access to the town of Moura, where locals told human rights investigators and journalists that the army and Russian mercenaries carried out a massacre over five days.
However, the Cote d’Ivoire government has contested Mali’s claims.