The potential for a power struggle in the north of Mali is rising, as both rebel groups and the military eye territory vacated by the U.N, according to security experts. This could further destabilize the country, which is already troubled by activity from Islamist militants linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State. The U.N. peacekeeping mission, which had been in place since 2013, was ordered to leave by the military junta, in power since a coup in 2021. A small team will stay behind to manage the transportation of assets and U.N. equipment. Mali is now considered a hub of a violent movement that has rippled through West Africa, prompting millions to flee.
Increasing Uncertainty in Mali’s Northern Region
Security specialists are forecasting potential turmoil in the north of Mali. Rebel factions and armed forces are highly likely to vie for control of regions that the U.N. has vacated, thereby escalating the instability in Mali. This could further the disruption in a country already seeing activity from Islamist extremists affiliated with al Qaeda and the Islamic State.
Escalation of Violence Post U.N. Peacekeeping Mission’s Departure
Violent incidents in Mali have intensified since the military junta, which seized power in a 2021 coup, commanded the U.N.’s ten-year-old peacekeeping mission to withdraw in June. Highlighting the potential effect of this move, the U.N. has detailed that only a limited team will remain to oversee the transport of assets and the dismantling of U.N.-owned equipment.
“U.N. funds, agencies and programmes were in Mali well before the deployment of MINUSMA and will remain in Mali well after its departure,” assured MINUSMA chief El-Ghassum Wane.
Implications of the Peacekeeping Departure
The peacekeeping expedition in Mali was initiated in 2013 in response to a violent uprising by separatist rebels attempting to claim authority over the north of the country and a subsequent coup led by the military. Currently, Mali has morphed into the vortex of a violent movement that has invaded West Africa, forcing millions to seek refuge elsewhere.
For Forex investors or traders, understanding the implications of instability in West Africa, as exemplified by the situation in Mali, may prove crucial in predicting movements in related assets and currencies.