Mali has welcomed Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, for a two-day working visit. The purpose of his visit was to meet with national authorities in preparation for the planned withdrawal of the UN mission by December 31.
The first part of his visit took him to the city of Mopti, where he was accompanied by the head of MINUSMA, El-Ghassim Wane. In Mopti, they were received by the city's governor, Colonel Major Abass Dembele.
“We discussed the importance of preserving the gains from MINUSMA's presence as much as possible and, naturally, the significance of ensuring all conditions are met for MINUSMA's withdrawal to take place under the best possible circumstances" says La Croix.
The United Nations Security Council in July unaminously voted to end its decade-long peacekeeping mission in Mali after a request from its military government to withdraw the troops.
The UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission (MINUSMA) was established by the Security Council in 2013 to deal with the uprising by armed groups linked to al-Qaeda in northern Mali.