UN mission in Mali officially ends after 10 years

BAMAKO (AFP): The UN mission in Mali officially ended a 10-year deployment in the country on Monday, its spokesperson said, in a pull-out ordered by Mali’s military leaders.

The mission, known as MINUSMA, lowered the United Nations flag on its headquarters in the capital Bamako, its spokesperson Fatoumata Kaba said.

The symbolic ceremony marks the official end of the mission, she said.

A “liquidation phase” will take place after January 1, involving activities such as handing over remaining equipment to the authorities.

The withdrawal of the UN stabilization mission, known as MINUSMA, has ignited fears that fighting will intensify between troops and armed factions for territorial control.

MINUSMA had for the past decade maintained around 15,000 soldiers and police in Mali. About 180 members have been killed in hostile acts.

As of Friday, more than 10,500 uniformed and civilian MINUSMA personnel had left Mali, out of a total of around 13,800 staff at the start of the withdrawal, the UN mission said on X, formerly Twitter.