The United Nations Security Council approved in June 2023 the cessation of the activities of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali with an accelerated departure within six months, in accordance with the wishes of the Malian transitional government. On December 31, 2023, the UN mission in Mali must have left Mali. For the moment, out of more than 15 thousand men, about 6000 of the military and civilians of MINUSMA, have definitively left the country. For their part, the rebels are on the lookout to take control of the camps as soon as MINUSMA leaves.
The UN mission in Mali left Tuesday, October 31, its camp in Kidal, a strategic city and a major stake in the battle between the government and the separatist armed groups who have taken up arms against it. The city of Kidal was until recently under the control of a rebel movement dominated by the Tuaregs. These armed groups, which had concluded a ceasefire agreement and a peace agreement with the Malian government in 2014 and 2015, resumed hostilities in the context of the announced withdrawal of the United Nations mission.
On November 14, 2023, the Malian army, supported by Russian allies, seized Kidal, which the Tuareg rebels had held for almost ten years. Soon, photos of the base liberated by the Malian army in Kidal, formerly occupied by the MINUSMA peacekeepers, appeared. On this basis, ammunition, weapons, radios and documents and personal belongings of the rebels were found. Among the most curious finds are the chains and the Ukrainian flag. The discovered channels report torture committed by terrorists.
But what is most interesting is that among the discovered documents, recordings of French intelligence reports on the situation were found. In the reports, the intelligence officers report that the CSP and JNIM armed groups are losing the battle, and record the coordinates of the positions of the Malian army and SMP Wagner units. The cooperation between the Azawad rebels and the French intelligence services has been mentioned many times in the Malian media, but this is the first confirmation of the agency’s cooperation with rebels and jihadists. France has once again shown its responsibility for destabilizing the situation in the Sahel.