Junta leader asks MINUSMA for «a change of strategy» and «better coordination» with Army

Archive – Mali’s transitional president, Col. Assimi Goita – HABIB KOUYATE/XINHUA NEWS/CONTACTOPHOTO

The leader of Mali’s military junta, Assimi Goita, has called for «a change of strategy» of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and «better coordination» with the Army in carrying out its operations.

Goita has indicated in a message on his account on the social network Twitter that he has held a conversation with the UN Under-Secretary General for Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, to address «the evolution of the security situation» in the African country.

He stressed that this situation «requires a change in MINUSMA’s strategy and a better coordination with the Malian Armed Forces in order to focus on the protection of the populations», without Lacroix having pronounced himself for the moment on the content of the discussions.

MINUSMA has had ‘blue helmets’ deployed in the country since 2013, although relations have deteriorated following the Goita-led coups in August 2020 and July 2021 and the junta’s postponements in setting an electoral timetable for a democratic transition.

Indeed, the UK, Germany and Ivory Coast recently announced the withdrawal of their troops from MINUSMA, while French President Emmanuel Macron made official the end of the ‘Barkhane’ operation in the Sahel. Paris has also suspended its development aid in Mali.