Tensions arise in Mali as protestors reject the UN involvement in the country.
On the streets of Mali's capital, Bamako, protestors gathered to march against the UN mission aka 'MINUSMA' as it's referred to among the locals. The protestors waved Malian flags and yelled anti-UN slogans, some carried Russian flags as a symbol of their uprising against the UN. It's ignited from the frosty relationship that the Malian army government has with the UN mission.
This culminated in July, when 49 Ivorian soldiers were detained in Mali after being branded mercenaries. Mali believed that the group of soldiers flew in without permission. They were sent to Mali to provide back up for the UN peacekeeping mission there. But were immediately detained at the airport in Bamako on 10th July, suspected of being mercenaries. The Ivorian soldiers maintained that their role within the mission was “well-known to the Malian authorities”.
According to Malian locals, MINUSMA has done nothing for the country, and the people now want them to leave. The protests are a statement of this. Sidenote: we talked about this in a previous post, when the Congolese government declared that they no longer want the involvement of the UN ambassador in the country, and call for him to leave. The Congolese government felt that they did not see any positive impact from the UN's presence in the country. And now the exact same is erupting in West Africa.
The people in Mali love their country, and want the country's military to be led by native soldiers, specifically, Colonel Assimi Goita, protestors clearly proclaimed. "They can go back to their homes and stay there. We don't need their help anymore. Assimi Goita is enough for us. The Malian youth is enough for us", said Samba M. Wangara, a protestor on the streets of Bamako. The people are accusing the mission of undermining Mali's sovereignty, as the 12,000 strong UN peacekeeping forces, have been in Mali since 2013.
More to follow on this story.
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