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Egyptian Government To Withdraw Peacekeeping Troops From Mali

Olivier Salgado, the spokesman of the UN mission in Mali, confirmed on Friday that Egypt will suspend its activities in Mali

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Hamzat Ibrahim Abaga
Hamzat Ibrahim Abaga
Hamzat Ibrahim Abaga is a graduate of Mass Communication and aspiring investigative journalist.

AFRICA.EGYPT/MALI: The Egyptian government will withdraw its peacekeeping troops from Mali by mid-August amid the death of its seven peacekeepers. Olivier Salgado, the spokesperson of the United Nations Mission (UN) in Mali stated.     

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Salgado added that seven of the Egyptian Army, which were killed in the West African country, Mali, all happened this year. 

“We confirm that Egypt, through its Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, expressed its concern at the beginning of the week at the increase in attacks against its peacekeepers who escort the convoys supplying our bases in the centre and northern Mali,” Salgado made a statement.

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Salgado further added, “The attack on Egypt peacekeepers’ has so far cost seven lives. We have been informed that, as a result, the Egyptian contingent will temporarily suspend its activities in the country as of August 15.”

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 UN takes the safety of its peacekeepers as a priority and said that Egypt currently contributes about 1,030 troops and 24 staff officers to the U.N. Mali mission, therefore they must be protected. 

For more than a decade now, Mali has been battling with Islamic extremist insurgency.   

“We confirm that Egypt, through its Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, expressed its concern at the beginning of the week at the increase in attacks against its peacekeepers who escort the convoys supplying our bases in the centre and northern Mali,” Salgado made a statement.

Extremist rebels were forced from power in Mali’s northern cities with the help of a French-led military operation, but they regrouped in the desert and began attacking the Malian army and its allies. Insecurity has worsened with attacks in the northern and central regions on civilians and UN peacekeepers.

Egypt has 1,072 troops and 144 police in the UN mission in Mali known as MINUSMA.

The suspension of his role in MINUSMA will remain in effect until Egypt’s concerns about the safety and security of its peacekeepers are resolved, a diplomat familiar with the decision told Reuters.

Another diplomatic source said Egypt had been concerned about the safety of peacekeepers for some time, but Mali’s decision on Thursday to halt troop rotation was likely the trigger for the suspension of operations.

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