Mali – Great Britain – Cooperation

UK justifies troop pull-out from Mali

APA-Bamako (Mali)

The British government accuses the Malian authorities of not being willing to work to ensure lasting stability and security in the West African country.

The UK will continue to support UN peacekeeping missions in the Sahel, but no longer from Mali. 

London made official on Monday the withdrawal of its troops from the country which still faces recurrent jihadist attacks.

 “Today, [...], I can announce that the British contingent will also leave the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) earlier than planned. [...] we must be clear that the responsibility for all this lies with Bamako. Two coups in three years have undermined international efforts to advance peace,” Defence Secretary James Heappey told parliament on Monday.

 Like Paris, London will also redeploy its troops to other countries in the region to help in the fight against jihadist groups. 

Next Monday and Tuesday, the Ghanaian capital Accra will host a meeting that will bring together various actors “to coordinate our renewed response to instability in the Sahel,” Heappey said.

 “This will be the first major gathering in support of the Accra initiative - a West African-led solution, initially aimed at preventing the spread of insurgency in Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Niger, and tackling the rising levels of violence in Burkina Faso and Mali - which makes this conference very timely,” he explained.

 The withdrawal of British troops from Gao will be coordinated with other allies in the area. 

“The army will issue imminent orders to reconfigure the next deployment to reduce our presence. We are leaving Minusma early and we are, of course, saddened by the way the government in Bamako has made it so difficult for well-meaning nations to be there,” he said.

 According to the Defence Secretary, the UK will work swiftly with its allies in the region and in Europe to support the Accra initiative to ensure security, stability and prosperity in West Africa. 

“Our commitment to the region remains unwavering,” he added.


ARD/te/lb/as/APA

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