UN mission in Mali to resume flights suspended due to sanctions
BAMAKO (Reuters) – The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali said on Thursday it would resume regular flights after being grounded over the weekend due to regional sanctions.
West Africa’s main political and economic bloc imposed sweeping sanctions on Mali earlier this month after its military-led caretaker government announced plans to postpone elections scheduled for nearly four years. February.
Sanctions by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) included the closure of its members’ air and land borders with Mali, where the military seized power in a coup in 2020.
The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali (MINUSMA) said at the weekend that it was temporarily suspending flights as it discussed with Malian authorities how to handle the situation.
The mission operates daily flights to transport its soldiers and personnel around Mali, where road travel in most areas is too dangerous. Commercial passenger flights to and from ECOWAS countries remain suspended.
In a statement released on Thursday, the mission said flights could resume after fruitful discussions with Malian authorities.
“The Mission welcomes the spirit of cooperation and partnership that prevailed during these talks,” she said.
MINUSMA has more than 13,000 soldiers trying to contain violence in northern and central Mali, where groups linked to Al-Qaeda and Islamic State regularly attack civilians, soldiers and army bases. UN.
(Reporting by Paul Lorgerie; Additional reporting by David Lewis and John Irish; Writing by Cooper Inveen; Editing by Aaron Ross and Andrew Heavens)