The UN Security Council (UNSC) is due to visit Mali and Burkina Faso from 22 to 24 March 2019 as terrorist violence continues to spread in both countries. The mission will assess implementation of the northern Mali peace process, operationalisation of the G5-Sahel regional counter-terrorism force, and the deteriorating security situation in Burkina Faso. The visit, co-led by France, Germany, and Côte d’Ivoire, comes three months before the current mandate of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) expires, and amid disagreement between France and the US over funding of counter-terrorism initiatives. The United States has called for changes to MINUSMA’s mandate, given lack of progress in the peace process, and wants to reduce its peacekeeping contributions in favour of bilateral assistance to regional counter-terrorism initiatives such as the G5.
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