Norway to close embassy in Mali

The Norwegian government has decided to close its embassy in Bamako, capital of Mali, by the end of 2023.

The decision came as the United Nations (UN) Security Council had adopted a resolution terminating the mandate of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), and requesting MINUSMA to start the withdrawal process, which is to be completed by the end of this year.

“This will have consequences for the security of Norwegian and other diplomatic missions and international organizations in Mali,” the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Thursday.

The ministry said since the two military coups in 2020 and 2021, the political situation in Mali has been volatile. The military-led transitional government has terminated its security cooperation with France and the UN. “When the UN mission ends, it will become more difficult to maintain normal diplomatic activity in the country,” read the statement.

In addition to Mali, the Norwegian Embassy in Bamako has also been responsible for representing Norway in Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Niger and Chad. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it is now working on solutions to safeguard Norway’s diplomatic representation in all these countries once the embassy is closed. ■

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