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UN approves more peacekeepers for Mali


06-30-2016 05:32 BJT

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UNITED NATIONS, June 29 (Xinhua) -- The UN Security Council on Wednesday decided to increase the force level of UN peacekeeping mission in Mali (MINUSMA) to counter grave security situation provoked by armed groups in the country.

In a unanimously adopted resolution, the 15-nation council decided to increase MINUSMA's force level to 13,289 military personnel and 1,920 police personnel.

The resolution also authorizes MINUSMA to "take all necessary means" to carry out its mandate of supporting the implementation of Mali's peace agreement in "a more proactive and robust posture."

MINUSMA was established in 2013 to support Mali's reconciliation between the north and south and carry out security-related tasks.

More than one year ago, the peace agreement was reached among Mali's government, the country's main rebel coalition, pro-government militias as well as some minor rebel groups.

According to the resolution, the Security Council also extended the mandate of MINUSMA until June 30, 2017 to support and monitor the ceasefire.

MINUSMA has become a frequent target of terrorist attacks in Mali. So far, the mission has lost more than 60 lives, making it the UN's deadliest active mission.

This year in May alone, a series of attacks directed against the mission killed 12 peacekeepers and injured many more.

According to MINUSMA, terrorist groups like Ansar Dine, al-Qaida in Islamic Maghreb and Al Mourabitoune continue their insurgency against MINUSMA and Malian forces. These groups get support from the local population as well as some groups that have signed the peace agreement.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has recommended the Security Council to strengthen MINUSMA's capabilities to ensure the mission forces are adequately equipped to operate in the dangerous and unpredictable environment across the country.

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