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Mali: Protesters demand exit of UN peacekeeping force

Mali protest   -  
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Hundreds gathered Friday in Mali's capital Bamako to call for MINUSMA the UN peacekeeping mission in the West African country to leave.

Protestors responded to a call by local political and activist groups close to the country's military junta to attend the protest meeting.

The protestors, many waving Russian flags, say the UN peacekeepers' decade-long presence is no longer required.

Mali, ruled by a military junta since a first coup in 2020, is battling armed groups linked to Al Qaeda and the Islamic State organization with the help of Russian paramilitary mercenaries.

The demonstration comes at a time when the Malian army has suffered one of the largest attacks by armed jihadist groups in central Mali and when MINUSMA human rights reports frequently accuse the Malian army of human rights violations.

The regime-supported anti-United Nations tensions seem set to continue to rise with presidential elections set for next year, which some might not want to be analysed too carefully by neutral observers or peacekeepers.

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