With the UN mission in Mali ending, and questions over Wagner’s role in keeping stability in the country, the news of armed incidents will be particualry worrying to Maghreb countries, particularly Morocco.
Armed men attacked a logistics convoy of the UN mission in the north of Mali on July 6th , a source at the UN peacekeeping mission told AFP.
“Unidentified armed individuals opened fire against a logistics convoy of the Minusma force moving from the (locality of) Labbezanga to Gao,” the source said.
Gao is the largest city in northern Mali.
Mali has been under military rule since an August 2020 coup, and has been battling a security crisis since extremist and separatist insurgencies broke out in the north in 2012.
A tanker overturned during the attack, injuring a Malian civilian, the source said.
Mali’s military rulers have increasingly imposed operational restrictions on peacekeepers and also broken Mali’s longstanding alliance with former colonial power France.
On June 30, the UN Security Council ended a decade-old peacekeeping mission in Mali, whose military junta has aligned with Russia and demanded the withdrawal of the international force battling extremists.
When asking for MINUSMA to leave, Malian Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop told the Security Council earlier this month there was a “crisis of confidence” between the UN operation and the Malian authorities.
Based on the principle that peacekeepers need the consent of the host government, the Security Council voted unanimously to start immediately winding down the mission despite fears by Western powers of new instability in the troubled African nation.
Minusma has been the most costly mission for the UN, at $1.2 billion a year, and 174 peacekeepers have died since its creation in 2013.