Challenges ahead as UN set to extend ‘most dangerous’ mission
The seven-year-old MINUSMA operating in Mali has faced an array of issues as insecurity in the Sahel grows.
The United Nations Security Council is expected next week to renew the mandate of its peacekeeping mission in Mali, MINUSMA.
Often dubbed the UN’s most “dangerous mission”, MINUSMA will enter its eighth year at the centre of a multilayered and complicated conflict that has spread across the Sahel, a semi-arid region directly south of the Sahara desert in northwestern and central Africa.
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Its challenges are myriad: a volatile environment that often proves deadly for UN forces, restricts peace-building initiatives and keeps the mission on a defensive footing; an inconsistent Malian ruling class; and a shifting and complex crisis that has exploded in the centre of the country that lacks an adequate framework for resolution.
Despite such obstacles, Security Council members have not yet been able to deny that the 15,000-strong mission, which includes 13,000 peacekeepers, is a necessity in a country considered the epicentre of the wider security crisis in the region, said Paul Melly,