UN peacekeepers are accelerating the withdrawal of troops from the Ber base near Timbuktu, Mali, due to the deteriorating security situation, a United Nations spokesman said on Monday.
Stéphane Dujarric, chief spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said peacekeepers from the mission known as MINUSMA had informed Malian authorities that they would be leaving a day early due to risks to the Malian government. with the safety and security of UN staff.
"The delegation reported two attacks yesterday (Sunday) on a convoy transporting personnel and equipment from the Ber base in Timbuktu, resulting in the injury of four Burkinabe peacekeepers. ", Dujarric told reporters during his regular press conference. The injuries are not life-threatening.
He said the United Nations condemned the attacks and called on all sides to ensure the safe movement of peacekeepers throughout the withdrawal of troops from the country, which is expected to be completed. completed by the end of this year. The mission plans to transfer bases and responsibilities previously assigned to the Malian government, the United Nations country group, and the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel.
According to regulations, the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali can only transfer its facilities to the Malian state. "In this context, the United Nations is negotiating with the Malian authorities on a draft agreement that will govern the transfer of UN peacekeeping camps."
The spokesperson added that each time MINUSMA leaves the camp, a designated representative of the Malian government must attest to the condition of the base and facilities, and confirm that the global agency has fulfilled its environmental obligations. his school.
The spokesman said he had no details on what could be handed over, adding that "I can tell you that what we have and can take, we'll take. If have things delivered, will be clearly marked that those things have been delivered, whether it's a table or a chair. But, of course, all equipment, weapons and everything else belonging to the backup force will leave.
He was referring to the equipment belonging to the reserve nations' forces assigned to MINUSMA.
In June, the Security Council accepted a request from Mali to end a peacekeeping mission tasked with protecting the people of Mali from violent attacks by jihadists from the desert. The mission was established by authorization of the board of directors in 2013.