Peacekeeping troop rotations resume in Mali: UN

UNITED NATIONS The rotation of peacekeeping troops in and out of Mali has resumed after a month’s suspension by the Malian government, a UN spokesman said.

The rotations began Monday with a contingent from Bangladesh, said Stephane Dujarric, chief spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. About 400 soldiers from Senegal are scheduled to rotate soon.

“We welcome the coordination efforts between the Malian transitional government and our peacekeeping mission,” said Dujarric. “We are also grateful to the more than 60 troop and police contributing countries for their support and commitment to peace in Mali.”

The suspension began on July 14, four days after the Malian government arrested 49 Cote d’Ivoire soldiers for illegally entering the country, calling them “mercenaries.” Cote d’Ivoire said the logistical support contingent was under contract with the UN mission in Mali known as MINUSMA.

In a letter to MINUSMA, the Malian foreign ministry said that for reasons related to the national security context, the government had decided to suspend all rotations of the military and police contingent of MINUSMA, including those already scheduled or announced.

Representatives of the mission and the Malian authorities held discussions. Myriam Dessables, the MINUSMA spokeswoman, described an agreement on a streamlined rotation procedure where contingents communicate with the foreign ministry instead of with MINUSMA before entering the country.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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