MINUSMA Suspends All Flights to Mali

FILE PHOTO: A MINUSMA logistics convoy is pictured in Kidal, Mali February 16, 2017. MINUSMA/Sylvain Liechti handout via REUTERS

United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) has temporarily suspended all flights into Mali over sanctions that have shut air and land borders to the West African country.

Last week, the Economic of West African States and the regional monetary union sanctioned Mali after its interim government, installed in the wake of coups in 2020 and 2021, suggested delaying by up to four years planned elections.

“MINUSMA has to temporarily suspend all flights. We are in discussion with our Malian partners on the new mechanism for approving MINUSMA flights,” a spokesperson said, adding that he expected a resolution “very quickly”.

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Over 13,000 MINUSMA troops are fighting to contain violence in the north and center of the large country, where islamist groups linked to al-Qaeda and Islamic State frequently attack civilians, soldiers, and United Nations facilities.

The mission has recorded about 230 deaths since 2013, making it the deadliest of the UN’s peacekeeping missions.

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