Norway to close embassy in Mali as UN peacekeepers leave

Norway is to close its embassy in Bamako following the withdrawal of the UN peacekeeping mission to Mali, the Foreign Ministry announced in Oslo on Thursday.

The withdrawal of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) would have “consequences for the security of Norwegian and other diplomatic missions and international organisations in Mali,” the ministry said.

The move would take effect by the end of the year, it added.

The ministry further said maintaining normal diplomatic ties with the West African country would become more difficult.

MINUSMA is to withdraw by the end of the year at the request of Mali’s military government. It plans to hand over its bases to the Malian security forces.

The embassy in Bamako also represents Norway’s interests in the neighbouring countries of Burkina Faso, Mauretania, Niger, and Chad.

The Norwegian Foreign Ministry said it was working on solutions to maintain regional representation.

Since seizing power in 2021, the Malian military government has sought the assistance of the Wagner group of Russian mercenaries.

In June, it demanded that all 12,000 UN troops deployed to MINUSMA should leave.

The UN mission was established following the conflict in 2012 between Islamist extremists and Tuareg rebels in the north of the country.

The Islamists have since expanded into Burkina Faso and Niger.

All three countries are now under military rule and have turned their backs on France, the former colonial power that has maintained a strong presence in the region. 


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