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In Mali, the army recovers a UN base coveted by the former Tuareg rebellion

Justin Trudeau watches as German and Canadian soldiers evacuate a soldier ...   -  
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Adrian Wyld/AP


The United Nations Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) announced on Sunday that it had "anticipated" , for security reasons, its withdrawal from a camp in the north of the country which the army claims to have recovered "after numerous incidents" with the "terrorist" groups and despite the desires of the former Tuareg rebellion.

"MINUSMA has anticipated its withdrawal from Ber due to the deterioration of security in the area and the high risks that this poses to our Blue Helmets" , she explains in a message on X (formerly Twitter), without precision on the initial departure date and the workforce.

It "invites the various actors concerned to refrain from any act which could further complicate the operation".

Ber's departure from the Burkinabè blue helmets who were occupying it was programmed within the framework of the withdrawal of MINUSMA by the end of the year from this country, with a first departure occurring on August 3 in Ogossagou (center) that the army, in a press release published Sunday evening, said to control since.

MINUSMA is thus applying the decision taken at the end of June by the UN Security Council to put an immediate end to the mission deployed since 2013, at the request of the junta which came to power by force in 2020.

The withdrawal of some 11,600 soldiers and 1,500 police officers of dozens of nationalities must be staggered until December 31.

The Malian army (FAMa) affirms that within the framework of the process of retrocession of the rights of way of the MINUSMA, it "took possession of the camp of Ber this Sunday August 13 around 8:30 am after numerous incidents having enamelled the movement of (its ) units,” in a statement Sunday evening.

On the way to Ber to recover the camp, she reports various incidents with "the GATs" (armed terrorist groups) including "an attempted incursion into the device and harassing fire" against its troops on Friday and others " clashes" having left a total of "six dead and four injured" in its ranks, in this press release.

"Sporadic shooting " targeted Sunday the soldiers advancing towards Ber, according to the same text which does not specify the identity of the attackers.

Deep security crisis

The Ber area has also been the scene of tensions for several days between the army and the Russian paramilitary group Wagner on the one hand and the Coordination of Movements of Azawad (CMA, former Tuareg rebellion) on the other, according to this latter organization.

MINUSMA must "simply leave (from Ber) and not concede" the camp to the army, said Sunday on X, Attaye Ag Mohamed , a CMA official.

"The FAMa are determined at all costs to occupy MINUSMA premises, including those located in areas under CMA control", said the former rebellion, which controls large areas in the north, in a press release sent on Saturday. at AFP.

The gap has widened with the junta that the CMA accuses of questioning the 2015 Algiers peace agreement it signed with Bamako. The CMA also criticizes the military for having had a new Constitution approved in June, compromising, according to it, this agreement.

In a new sign of tension, she said on Friday that she had "repelled a complex attack led by the FAMa and Wagner", in a press release published the same day, without a report. She announced on Thursday the departure of all her representatives from Bamako for "security" reasons, further widening the gap with the junta which she accuses of questioning the Algiers agreement.

The junta has made sovereignty its mantra since taking over the country, breaking the alliance with France and its partners against jihadism, to turn militarily and politically to Russia.

Since 2012, Mali has been in the grip of a deep security crisis that started in the north and which has spread to the center of the country as well as to neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger.

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