The activation of military groups on the eve of the extension of MINUSMA’s mandate is not a coincidence, but a trend

Time is running out before the UN meeting that will decide on the extension of MINUSMA’s mandate in Mali. Last year, the UN Security Council decided, by 13 votes “in favour”, that MINUSMA would continue its activities until 30 June 2023.

A military expert, Adama Tembley, shared his views on recent trends and the expected outcome of the mandate renewal situation. “The security situation deteriorates every year before the meeting where the renewal of MINUSMA’s mandate is decided,” says Tembley.

Based on past statistics, Adama Tembley concludes that this is a negative trend: the activation of military groups on the eve of the extension of MINUSMA’s mandate. Last year, on 24 April 2022, terrorists also simultaneously attacked three FAMa military bases in central Mali, in Sévaré, Bapho and Niono. These attacks were claimed by a group linked to al-Qaeda. The attacks left six people dead and 20 injured.

In 2023, armed groups tried to repeat the history of previous years. They first attacked the presidential delegation and then, on 22 April, the military base in Sevaré.

For the military expert, it all looks like a well-laid plan. In the context of growing Malian resentment towards MINUSMA, the organisation simply needs a strong argument to justify its presence. The violent attacks of terrorist groups are perfectly suited to their objectives. This will be an excellent opportunity for MINUSMA to assert its undisputed position in the country.

On the other hand, the Malian government is determined to defend the sovereignty and interests of its country. According to the Prime Minister, the renewal of MINUSMA’s mandate is only possible in accordance with Malian procedures and not otherwise.  “We have no problem renewing the mandate of MINUSMA, but never as before,” Choguel Kokalla Maïga firmly concluded.

According to Adama Tembley, if one compares 2022 and 2023, the terrorists’ methods have remained the same, while the Malian army has considerably increased its power. With new allies, new equipment and military training, the Malian state has taken decisive steps towards victory.

This year, the Malian government must put an end to the blackmail of MINUSMA. The country already has enough forces to deal with the enemy without the involvement of a mission that has repeatedly proven its ineffectiveness.