Egyptian peacekeeping troops leave Mali as part of UN withdrawal

Ahram Online , Wednesday 2 Aug 2023

Over 460 peacekeepers from the Egyptian combat and convoy escort battalion of United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) left the city of Gao, in northern Mali, on Friday.

Photo courtesy: MINUSMA
Photo courtesy: MINUSMA


The move is part of the complete withdrawal of the mission from Mali by 31 December 2023, read a statement released by the MINUSMA on Wednesday.

The UN mission said the Egyptian troops "have conducted over a year convoy escorts from Gao to Tessalit, passing through Kidal and Aguelhok, in very challenging conditions marked by the increased use of improvised explosive devices by armed terrorist groups."

Their various missions, conducted at a steady pace, have contributed to securing logistical convoys and protecting civilians.

Additionally, the Egyptian Blue Helmets engaged in numerous civil-military activities, such as providing food, school supplies, thousands of other items, and free medical consultations to help the most vulnerable, noted the statement.

In the following days, peacekeepers from Senegal, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, and Bangladesh will also leave Mali. Their camps in Ogossagou, Goundam, Ber, and Ménaka will be closed, the statement added.

The MINUSMA was established in April 2013 to support the transitional authorities of Mali in the stabilization of the country.

Peacekeeping contributions

Egypt is a major supporter of the UN Secretary-General's Action for Peace (A4P) initiative aimed at improving the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations.

Egypt is presently the sixth-largest contributor of uniformed personnel to UN peacekeeping missions, with more than 2,800 military and police personnel in several parts of the world, including Abyei, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, and Western Sahara.

Since 1960, Egypt has deployed more than 30,000 uniformed peacekeepers to 38 UN operations in 24 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe, according to an Egyptian diplomat.

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