Mali’s foreign minister has called on the UN to withdraw its peacekeeping force from his country “without delay”.

Abdoulaye Diop accused the UN force, Minusma, of having “become a part of the problem in fuelling intercommunal tensions”.

Minusma has more than 13,000 troops. Its decade-old mission has failed to stop the spread of jihadist violence.

Minister Diop’s criticism of Minusma followed earlier Malian objections to France’s long-standing involvement in Mali. The alliance with France, the former colonial power, collapsed last year.

Mr Diop spoke of a “crisis of confidence between the Malian authorities and Minusma” and said “the Malian government asks for the withdrawal without delay of Minusma”.

Minusma’s mandate is due to end on 29 June, but UN chief Antonio Guterres has recommended that the mission be reconfigured to focus on a few limited priorities. 

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