Egypt on Friday announced it has suspended the activities of its contingent in Mali peacekeeping mission temporarily.
The United Nations was informed of this move by Egypt with officials citing increased attacks on peacekeepers who escort convoys supplying UN bases.
A UN spokesperson said on Friday that the attacks have caused the death of seven Egyptian soldiers since the beginning of the year.
“We have been informed that as a result, the Egyptian contingent will temporarily suspend its activities within MINUSMA as of August 15,” the spokesperson is quoted as saying by Reuters.
The UN mission in Mali seems to be facing many challenges after Mali’s military junta on Thursday announced it has temporarily suspended troop rotations by contributing nations to the peacekeeping mission.
The announcement on Thursday comes days after Malian forces arrested 49 soldiers from Ivory Coast who had arrived in country for the MINUSMA operations.
Mali said the soldiers entered the country without permission, but Ivory Coast said the Malian authorities were informed.
Ivory Coast said the soldiers were deployed as part of a security and logistics support contract signed with the mission in 2019.
The Ivorian soldiers were arrested on Sunday at Mali’s main international airport in the capital Bamako.
Mali’s military government said the soldiers gave differing versions of their mandate in the country.
Ivory Coast’s national security council said in a statement that the troops were the eighth rotation sent to Mali under the convention and their mission order had been sent to both airport authorities and the junta before arrival.