Ivory Coast will gradually pull out its forces and police from the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
According to Reuters, the withdrawal was confirmed by two senior Ivory Coast security sources.
Ivory Coast will no longer replace departing personnel in the MINUSMA force, according to a Nov. 11 letter to a senior U.N. peacekeeping official which was seen by Reuters on Tuesday.
“The Secretariat is in contact with Cote d’Ivoire regarding their participation in MINUSMA,” Deputy U.N. spokesperson Farhan Haq said in an emailed response, thanking the country for its support to Mali and U.N. peace operations.
The withdrawal comes after former colonial power France, and then Britain pulling out its 300 troops from the peacekeeping force.
Ivory Coast is the sixth-largest military contributor to the force, with 857 troops, according to MINUSMA figures. It is the eighth largest police contributor, with 30 officers. MINUSMA is made up of nearly 18,000 personnel.
MINUSMA has been significantly constrained by Mali’s junta since it came to power in a 2020 coup.
A minor diplomatic scuffle between both countries in July left 46 Ivorian soldiers detained by Mali. Mali accused them of being mercenaries. Ivory Coast countered that they are peacekeepers, and made repeated pleas for their release.
In August, France withdrew its troops which have been in Mali for more than a decade, after a dispute about Malian air space violations, and the presence of hundreds of Russian mercenaries from the Kremlin-linked Wagner Group