UN peacekeeping mission in Mali to resume troop rotations one month later

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UN peacekeeping mission in Mali to resume troop rotations one month later

This file photo taken on August 2, 2018 shows a German soldier in the detachment of the MINUSMA United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali looking for IED improvised explosive device during a patrol on the route from Gao to Gossi, Mali. SEALLOU AFP DAKAR troop rotations by the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali will resume on Monday, a mission spokeswoman said on Saturday, one month after Malian authorities suspended them and accused foreign soldiers of entering the country without permission.

On July 14, Mali's ruling junta suspended troop rotations for the nearly 12,000 strong mission after arresting 49 soldiers from Cote d'Ivoire who arrived in the country without permission, the country's ruling junta said. They said they would resume after discussions with mission representatives, known as MINUSMA, about how to coordinate troop deployments.

In July, the arrests highlighted the friction between the junta, which seized power in an August 2020 coup, and international partners, who have criticized election delays and security cooperation with Russian mercenaries.

Ivory Coast soldiers were deployed as part of a support contract signed with MINUSMA, which was created in 2013 to provide security from Islamist miltants. The Ivorian troops are still in detention.

A MINUSMA spokesman said the mission and Malian authorities had agreed on a streamlined rotation procedure and that the mission's request to resume rotations on Monday had been accepted.

Mali hasn't been reached for comment yet, but the foreign ministry could not be reached for comment.

READ MORE: Mali says France has violating its airspace to'spy' on troops.

Relations between Mali and troop-contributing countries are strained. Germany said on Friday it was suspending its military reconnaissance mission, which provides intelligence to MINUSMA, after Malian authorities withheld a flight clearance.

The foreign minister of Mali denied on Twitter that the government had done so and called for Germany to adhere to the new mechanism for approving troop rotations.