MINUSMA closes its camp in Kidal, marking the end of its presence in the region
Bamako, October 31, 2023 - MINUSMA ended its presence in the Kidal region today, following the departure of its last personnel by air and land convoy.
The last convoy of peacekeepers left Kidal by road this morning for Gao, and unfortunately suffered two IED attacks on the way, causing material damage.
The last MINUSMA flight from Kidal reached Gao late yesterday afternoon. The convoys of the Chadian contingent, which left Aguelhok and Tessalit on October 21 and 23 respectively, also arrived in Gao on October 29.
The conditions of departure from all these bases were extremely difficult and challenging, for a variety of reasons, all completely beyond the Mission's control, including the deteriorating security situation and the multiple threats to peacekeepers that this entailed. Added to this were the challenges of conducting air operations to extract Mission personnel.
In the course of this accelerated withdrawal to preserve the lives of peacekeepers in a particularly complex operational environment, MINUSMA was forced to destroy and decommission sensitive equipment belonging to troop- and police-contributing countries and to the United Nations. This measure was taken as a last resort in accordance with UN rules and procedures, as the 200 trucks on standby in Gao since September 24 had not been authorized to move to Tessalit, Aguelhok and Kidal to collect the said equipment for shipment out of Mali.
The departure from Kidal marks the closure of MINUSMA's eighth base out of a total of 13 in central and northern Mali, as well as in the capital, Bamako. Since July, the Mission has withdrawn almost 6,000 civilian and uniformed personnel from Mali, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2690 (2023). The Mission is determined to complete its withdrawal on schedule, by December 31, 2023.