UN says Mali crisis worsening

The UN Security Council is to discuss the crisis in Mali today after an investigation found that the country’s security situation had significantly worsened.

It noted that there had been a 100% increase in Islamist attacks in the past four months.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres reported a surge in attacks against peacekeepers and local troops.

He said that since June extremist groups – mostly in northern Mali – have carried out a total of 75 attacks against Malian, French and UN forces.

Most of the attacks were claimed by JNIM – a jihadist coalition linked to al-Qaeda.

The UN chief called for funding and logistical support for the new regional force that is being set up to fight jihadists in the Sahel.

He also expressed his disappointment in the resumption of fighting between local armed groups despite a prior peace agreement between them.

Meanwhile, the defence minister and the top military commander in the Netherlands have both resigned over the deaths of two Dutch soldiers in Mali last year.

An investigation by the Dutch Safety Board into the training accident found that the military had been using stocks of old and defective shells without carrying out its own checks.

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