Over 460 peacekeepers from the Egyptian combat and convoy escort battalion working for United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) have pulled out of the country as the mission is preparing to complete exit by December 2023.
The UN mission said the Egyptian troops “have conducted over a year convoy escorts from Gao to Tessalit, passing through Kidal and Aguelhok, in very challenging conditions marked by the increased use of improvised explosive devices by armed terrorist groups.”
The Egyptians troops were based in the northern city of Gao and were tasked to secure logical convoys, protect civilians, provide food, school supplies, thousands of other items, and free medical consultations to help the most vulnerable.
Established in April 2013 to support the transitional authorities of Mali in the stabilization of the country, incumbent transitional authorities of the West African country have demanded the end of the mission. The UN Security Council has rubber-stamped the request and proposed a plan for withdrawal that runs until December this year.
The MINUSMA also indicated that after Egypt, peacekeepers from Senegal, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, and Bangladesh will also leave Mali.
Their camps in Ogossagou, Goundam, Ber, and Ménaka will be closed, the mission said in a statement.
Six Egyptian blue helmets were killed in Mali last year due to attacks. In light of attacks, the North African notified the UN about plans to remove its forces by mid-August last year.
Prior to last year’s August plan, Egypt had 1.072 troops and 144 police in the mission. Egypt is presently the sixth-largest contributor of uniformed personnel to UN peacekeeping missions, with more than 2.800 military and police personnel in several parts of the world.
Source : The North Africa Post