Thousands are demonstrating in Bamako, demanding an end to a peacekeeping mission that they say has failed to bring peace.

Several thousand protesters gathered in the capital, Bamako, on Thursday, calling for an end to the United Nations peacekeeping mission that they say has failed to bring peace.

The demonstrators carried banners calling on the United Nations mission, known as the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, to leave the country.

The M5-RFP, the party of transitional Prime Minister Chuguil Maiga, and civil society organizations supporting the transitional military government organized the rally, which took place in the Sports Palace square.

It is an evil force that must leave our land. It was of no use. I failed to do so. “Give us a few weeks and we will kick them out of the country,” protester Abdallah Diarra told Al Jazeera.

Thousands of people have been killed in attacks by armed groups linked to ISIS and Al Qaeda since 2013.

MINUSMA was established that year to support foreign and local forces fighting armed groups. With more than 14,000 troops on the ground, the UN mission in Mali is the largest, most costly, and deadliest operation in the organization’s history.

More than 300 UN peacekeepers have also been killed.

Malians initially celebrated the arrival of the UN peacekeeping force, but now say UN soldiers are the problem, not the solution. They blame it for failing to protect the population and for not intervening when massacres were committed near the UN compounds.

Outside the capital, in the northern and central parts of the country where the government presence is minimal, millions of Malians still depend on the UN mission for security.

But in recent months, there have been frequent instances of friction between the Malian military government and the mission, in part because the Malian military has sought help from the Kremlin-linked Wagner Group, a private Russian mercenary company.

Independent UN human rights investigators accuse them of arbitrary killings and torture, in what rights groups say Possible evidence of war crimes.

Protesters at Thursday’s demonstration waved Russian flags.

“MINUSMA must leave Mali because the Malian people and the Malian government have been waiting for the results of MINUSMA for 10 years,” said Mohamed Guessoum Djiri, President of Sentinel Mali-KORA.

“Instead of MINUSMA working with the authorities, with the Malian people, MINUSMA is working to discredit our army, which is our backbone and a symbol of our national unity,” he said.

Djeer was referring to a United Nations report accusing the Malian army and its Russian collaborators of committing the crime Execution of more than 500 civilians in Mora village In the center of the country during an operation carried out in March 2022.

“Everyone knows Mora was a haven for terrorists,” he said.

In general, Europe’s relations with Mali have deteriorated since the military coup in 2020, and the government subsequently invited fighters from the Wagner Group to support its fight against the rebels.

This prompted France to do so withdraw its forces From Mali in 2022 after nearly a decade there.

Mali’s government has previously said that Russian forces in the West African country are not mercenaries but trainers assisting local forces with equipment purchased from Moscow.

In an earlier interview with Al Jazeera, Maiga said the UN mission was ineffective.

“The international community became involved in Mali after the adoption of a United Nations resolution in 2013,” he said. “The Malians understood that the aim was to end the war, but once the peace agreement was signed, the decision was changed to say that they were not here to end the war, but to protect the peace; Maiga said.

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