“We confirm that Egypt, through its Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, expressed concern early this week about the increase in attacks on its peacekeepers escorting the convoys supplying our bases in central and northern Mali. These attacks have resulted in the deaths of 7 Egyptian soldiers since the beginning of the year,” he said in a statement. “We have been informed that as a result, the Egyptian contingent will temporarily suspend its activities within MINUSMA as of August 15.”
The UN said the security of its peacekeepers is a priority.
Egypt currently contributes about 1,030 troops and 24 staff officers to the UN mission in Mali.
Mali has struggled to contain an Islamic extremist insurgency since 2012. Extremist rebels were driven from power in Mali’s northern cities with the help of a French-led military operation, but they regrouped in the desert and began attacking the Malian army and its allies. Insecurity has been exacerbated with attacks in the northern and central regions against civilians and UN peacekeepers.
The UN force has said more than 250 of its peacekeepers and personnel have died since 2013, making Mali the deadliest of 12 UN peacekeeping missions worldwide.