Burkina Faso hails Mali call for UN withdrawal


Burkina Faso’s military government has said it welcomed Mali’s decision to affirm its “sovereignty… to be the sole masters of their destiny” after Mali’s Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop called on the UN to withdraw its peacekeeping force from his country “without delay”.

Burkinabé government spokesman Rimtalba Jean Emmanuel Ouedraogo is quoted by the AFP news agency as saying it was a “courageous decision”.

Earlier this year, Burkina Faso had asked a small French force to leave its borders.

Mali’s foreign minister accused the UN force, Minusma, of having “become a part of the problem in fuelling intercommunal tensions” in an address to the UN Security Council.

Minusma has more than 13,000 troops, but its decade-old mission has failed to stop the spread of jihadist violence.

Russian Wagner mercenaries are now assisting Mali’s military rulers.

Western officials have accused Wagner of human rights abuses in parts of Africa. Last month, the US announced sanctions on Ivan Maslov, whom it described as Wagner’s top official in Mali.

Wagner has not commented on the Western allegations and its activities in Mali and other parts of Africa remain shrouded in secrecy.

The 15-member UN Security Council is scheduled to vote to renew Minusma’s mandate before it expires on 30 June.

A resolution requires at least nine votes in favour and no vetoes by Russia, China, the US, the UK, or France to pass.- BBC


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