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UN extends Mali mission to 2017, increases force by 2500

UN extends Mali mission to 2017, increases force by 2500


The UN Security Council on Wednesday, unanimously announced the extension of the mandate of its peacekeeping mission in Mali, (MINUSMA). The force is supposed to remain in the west African country till 2017.

The Council also announced an increase by 2500 peacekeepers to the existing figure, tasking the mission to be more proactive and robust in the face of combat by the insurgents particularly in the north of the country.

In the adopted resolution, the Security Council increased from 11,240 to 13,289 the number of military personnel in operation and from 1440 to 1920 the police presence on the ground.

Read MoreUN Security Council Resolution 2295

Special forces from European countries are among the new troops to be sent to Mali, French ambassador to the United Nations, François Delattre, told reporters earlier on.

The French already have a significant amount of troops on ground in the country as they help local forces to stem the spread of terrorist groups who have destabilized the north and are threatening to move to other parts of the country.

The main objectives of the Minusma, would still be to support the implementation of the peace agreement in Mali, whiles promoting reconciliation in the country and to also protect the civilian population.

Over a year after the Malian government and various rebel groups stamped a peace agreement, the situation in the country remains very volatile, especially in the north, where the state still has no control.

Beyond local forces, peacekeepers in the recent past have become targets to the attacks by insurgent groups with the latest attack resulting in the death of a Chinese peacekeeper and other civilian staff of the UN.

The political situation remains unstable since the coup of four years ago, when rebel Tuareg groups with other insurgents, took control of the north of the country for ten months until they were theoretically expelled through international intervention led by France in January the following year.