UNSC approves Peacekeeping Operation in Mali

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The UN Security Council has approved a 12,600-strong United Nations peacekeeping operation to take over from the African-led mission (AFISMA) in Mali with effect from 1 July. To be called UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) their core task is to support the political process in Mali, in close coordination with the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

MANDATE :

  • Authorized “to use all necessary means” to carry out security-related stabilization tasks, protect civilians, UN staff and cultural artefacts, and create the conditions for the provision of humanitarian aid.

  • To help the Malian authorities to implement the transitional roadmap towards the full restoration of constitutional order, democratic governance and national unity including holding of elections in July, confidence building and facilitation of reconciliation at the national and local levels.
  • MINUSMA will assume responsibility for the mandated tasks being carried out by the UN Office in Mali (UNOM)- deployed in January 2013 and provides good offices aimed at facilitating contacts between the Government and those groups that wish to take part in the search for a political solution to the crisis.

France will withdraw its 4,000-strong force and plans to have just 1,000 by the end of the year. Chad, who were helping French forces , would also withdraw from Mali. The Council also authorized French troops to intervene in support of the mission when under imminent and serious threat.

  • Mission has been approved by UNSC resolution number 2100 for a initial period of 12-month and would be the fourth largest UN peacekeeping force (Total number of UN Peace Mission now - 15)
  • Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations- Herve Ladsous
  • UN Peacekeepers are also referred to as "Blue helmets"

BACKGROUND
Northern Mali was occupied by radical Islamists after fighting broke out in January 2012 between Government forces and Tuareg rebels. The conflict uprooted hundreds of thousands of people and prompted the Malian Government to request assistance from France to stop the military advance of extremist groups. France, aided by some 2,000 troops from Chad, began a military offencive in January 2013 to drive out fighters, who had hijacked a revolt by Mali's Tuareg rebels and seized two-thirds of the West African country.

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