NewsUN Mali sanctions expire after Russian veto - DW - August 31,...

    UN Mali sanctions expire after Russian veto – DW – August 31, 2023

    Of the 15 members of the Security Council, 13 voted for the resolution, Russia voted against it, and China abstained. The vote was about extending sanctions affecting eight people in Mali. The sanctions expiring this week were imposed in 2017 in support of a peace deal struck two years earlier in the unstable West African country battling jihadist insurgents. After the original resolution was passed, the travel and account suspensions could be used to target people who “undermine the stability and security” of Mali.

    The independent UN panel of experts monitoring the situation in Mali will also no longer exist from Thursday following the Russian veto. The body, which is now to be dissolved, had accused the people subject to sanctions of serious human rights crimes in its last report.

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    Mali relies on Russia’s support

    The Malian army has been actively working with mercenaries from the Russian Wagner Group since the recent military coup in the country in 2021. The West sees Russia’s veto as an act of retaliation after the UN panel of experts had previously expressed criticism of the actions of Malian armed forces and their “foreign security partners” – meaning the Russian mercenary group Wagner. The West accused the armed forces of violence against women, among other things. After the death of Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin in a plane crash, the future of the Russian mercenary mission is considered uncertain.

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    Around 12,000 soldiers are still deployed on MINUSMA in MaliImage: Nicolas Remene/Le Pictorium/MAXPPP/dpa/picture alliance

    In mid-June, the military government in Mali’s capital Bamako, which is increasingly turning towards Russia, demanded an immediate end to the UN mission MINUSMA, which was set up in 2013 after a rebellion by Islamist rebels to stabilize the country. The UN Security Council then decided to end the operation and withdraw all troops involved by December 31st. The German Bundeswehr also wants to leave the country by then. There are still around 12,000 UN peacekeepers in Mali, around 1,100 of them come from Germany. The UN stabilization mission MINUSMA has been considered the most dangerous UN mission in the world for years. The military government had previously asked the French armed forces to withdraw.

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    qu/fab (dpa, afp, rtr)

    Source: DW

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