As Terrorist Threats Rise in Mali, the Dutch Slowly Pull Out of Peacekeeping

The Dutch contingent of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali is withdrawing its seven helicopters from the operation by spring, leaving a wide hole in reconnaissance and intelligence gathering for the mission that desperately needs those assets. With no immediate supplier for replacement helicopters in sight, the withdrawal presents an additional strain on the mission, … Read more

China Takes a Peacekeeping Risk in Mali

Chinese peacekeepers arriving in Bamako, Mali

China has dipped a big toe in peacekeeping waters by sending its first-ever infantry troops to work for a United Nations mission — in this case, Mali, where a mission was set up last summer to stabilize the country after a military coup in 2012 and a French military intervention against Islamic extremists in early … Read more

A Rape Accusation in Northern Mali and the UN’s Awkward Response

A woman in Gao after the French attack in January 2013.

Now that Gao, a remote but critical outpost in northern Mali, has become a hub of military personnel — Mali Army, French troops and UN peacekeepers — to fend off terrorist incursions, it is also a simmering spot for sexual assaults and intimidation of women who live there. These acts are committed in the shadows … Read more

The UN Helps Journalists in Conflict Areas, but Cannot Protect Them

A Malian soldier fires an AK-47 during fighting with Islamists in Gao

Two radio journalists from France were killed on Nov. 2 outside Kidal in the northern desert reaches of Mali. The journalists, Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, both in their 50s, were kidnapped right in front of a Tuareg official’s home by gunmen and found dead just miles from town, their throats slashed and bodies fresh … Read more

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