Peacekeeping mission in Mali will continue amid coup d’ etat – UN


President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta of Mali had announced his resignation, international media reported Wednesday, after soldiers arrested him and several members of his cabinet in a military coup on Tuesday.

The leaders of the coup reportedly announced they plan to set up a transitional civilian administration, and fresh elections.

The United Nations continues to monitor the on-going situation while UN Secretary-General António Guterres continues to follow the developments “very closely and with deep concern”, his spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric, told journalists on Wednesday.

The Security Council will also hold a closed session on Wednesday where the head of UN Peacekeeping, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, will brief the 15 ambassadors.

Like the UN chief, members have strongly condemned the mutiny and underlined “the urgent need to restore rule of law and to move towards the return to constitutional order,” according to a statement issued on Wednesday.

President Keïta has led Mali for the past seven years.

In recent weeks, protests have been held calling for him to step down due to alleged corruption and an inability on the part of authorities to handle rising insecurity in the north and central regions.

Meanwhile, operations continue at the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), which supports political processes and reconciliation in the country.

Peacekeepers also carry out several security-related tasks to ensure stability and protection of civilians.

“Our colleagues on the ground are emphasising that the work of the UN peacekeeping mission must and will continue in support of the people of Mali, and in close liaison with the Malians, including with the Malian security and defence forces in the north and centre, where the situation is still very worrying,” said Mr.Dujarric.

MINUSMA is the most dangerous UN operation in the world. Nearly 130 peacekeepers serving there have been killed in malicious acts, the UN chief told the Security Council in June.

The mission was established in 2013 following a military coup and the occupation of northern Mali by radical Islamists the year before.

The government and representatives of two armed group coalitions signed a peace deal in 2015. (Source: UN News)