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UN chief wants Mali peacekeeping force boosted

UN chief wants Mali peacekeeping force boosted

Mali

Ban Ki-moon has called for increasing the number of U.N. soldiers in Mali by 2,049 personnel, which would raise the force’s authorized strength to 13,289.

The Secretary-General further called for the addition of 480 U.N. police, which would raise the ceiling for police in the U.N. mission, known as MINUSMA, to 1,920 personnel.

Meanwhile, the head of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali on Thursday visited the site of a militant attack in the northern Gao town, where one peacekeeper from China was killed.

The best way to fight terrorists and to isolate them is to effectively implement this peace agreement. Every minute, any wasted time in implementing the peace agreement is time gained for the enemies of peace.

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claimed responsibility on Wednesday for an attack on two United Nations’ sites in northern Mali.

“I have always repeated that the best way to achieve the peace in Mali is to implement the peace agreement. The best way to fight terrorists and to isolate them is to effectively implement this peace agreement. Every minute, any wasted time in implementing the peace agreement is time gained for the enemies of peace,” said Mahamat Saleh, head of the U.N. Peacekeeping Mission to Mali (MINUSMA).

The Security Council is scheduled to extend the MINUSMA mandate later this month. French Ambassador Francois Delattre who is the council president this month, told reporters that France was studying Ban’s proposals.

Since the U.N. peacekeeping mission was deployed in April 2013 in Mali, militants have reorganized and launched a wave of attacks against security forces, peacekeepers and civilian targets and have threatened neighboring countries.

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