• The UN Security Council (UNSC) decided on Wed. to extend the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) until June 30, 2023, maintaining its strength of more than 13.2K military personnel and 1.9K international police.[1]
  • Russia and China abstained on the French-drafted resolution that was adopted with the support of 13 votes. Paris had proposed to continue providing air support to the mission, but the proposition was removed from the resolution due to Mali's opposition.[2]
  • As announced in Feb., France is set to withdraw its troops from Mali by this summer, amid deteriorating relations between Paris and Bamako.[2]
  • After the vote, the UNSC voiced "grave concern" over the deteriorating political and security situation in the country - which has been in turmoil since 2012 - while French and US officials condemned the Malian junta's use of mercenaries from Russia's Wagner Group.[3]
  • Launched in 2013, MINUSMA is considered one of the UN's largest and most dangerous military missions, with more than 170 peacekeepers having been killed to date.[4]
  • Following the extension of the mandate, the Malian government said it won't support peacekeepers' inquiries on human rights abuses. MINUSMA documented 320 rights violations by Mali's forces in 2022's first quarter.[5]


Pro-establishment narrative

Particularly since France's announcement that it was withdrawing its troops from Mali, Russia has been gaining ground on strategically important terrain. It's no coincidence that the humanitarian and security situation has deteriorated dramatically since then. New ways must be found to stabilize the region and defend Western interests, and the fact that MINUSMA has been extended is a first positive step.

Establishment-critical narrative

The West's moves in resource-rich Mali, and in the entirety of the Sahel, aren't motivated by the fight against jihadist insurgents, to promote democracy, or to secure a "rule-based order." Western members of the UN are only concerned with defending their own geostrategic interests - including against Russia. The so-called stabilization mission MINUSMA serves only as a tool for power projection, after the end of French neo-colonialism in Mali.

Nerd narrative

There is a 2% chance that Russia will be removed from the UN Security Council by 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

Establishment split



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