EYEAFRICA TV: Bambako, MALI: The United Nations peacekeeping chief has announced that a rapid intervention force of Senegalese troops will soon be deployed to central Mali, which has seen an increase of insecurity and communal violence since 2015.
During his first working visit to Mali, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the Under Secretary-General for UN peacekeeping operations, told reporters that “very soon we will get the support needed to reinforce MINUSMA in terms of security, and receiving the means to support this Mission to protect the military and civilian staff; but above all to better support the Mission in helping the population and the stabilization of the region where the Mission is located.”
Particularly, he added; “we heard of problems affecting the centre of the country. That will improve with the presence of a rapid reaction force that will be deployed by Senegal, a rapid force that will help to respond the security challenges in this region.”
Lacroix said the initiative is strongly supported by the United Nations and the African Union. He said they are examining the means with which the UN in the terrain – MINUSMA – will be able to help the future operations of G-5, as well other partners are also ready to support it.”
The G5 regional initiative, also known as the ‘Group of Five for the Sahel,’ was formed in 2014 by Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.
During his three-day visit to the Malian capital, Bamako, Lacroix met in with Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and other senior Malian officials, whom he thanked for their constructive and sustained cooperation with the Mission.