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Egypt To Suspend Role in UN Peace Operations in Mali

Egypt To Suspend Role in UN Peace Operations in Mali
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By Staff, Agencies

Egypt will "temporarily suspend" its participation in United Nations peacekeeping operations in Mali after seven of its troops died in attacks this year, the UN mission MINUSMA said on Friday.

The north African country signaled its concerns at UN headquarters in New York this week, the mission said in a statement: "We have been informed that, in consequence, the Egyptian contingent would temporarily suspend its activities in MINUSMA from August 15.”

MINUSMA – the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali – was launched in 2013 to help one of the world's poorest countries cope with a bloody terrorist campaign. It is one of the UN's biggest peacekeeping operations, with 17,609 troops, police, civilians, and volunteers deployed as of April, according to the mission's website.

It is also one of the most dangerous UN missions, with 275 fatalities from attacks, accidents, or other causes. Of these, 177 deaths came from hostile acts, 10 of them since January this year.

The latest attack against the Egyptian contingent was on July 5, when two peacekeepers were killed and five seriously hurt near Gao, in northern Mali.

A UN official in Bamako said Egypt contributed 1,035 out of the total 12,261 UN peacekeeping troops in Mali.

The suspension of troop rotations for the UN mission will remain in place until Malian officials can organize a meeting with MINUSMA representatives to discuss coordination between the two sides, Mali's foreign ministry said.

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