UN Reports Sharp Deterioration In Mali Since Canadian Peacekeepers Arrived

The head of the United Nations, in a new report, says the security situation in Mali has sharply deteriorated over the past three months even as demand for food aid and other humanitarian assistance has skyrocketed.

The assessment by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres coincides with the presence of Canadian peacekeepers in Mali and suggests the country is in many ways worse off now than when they first arrived in June.

Not that there haven’t been some hopeful signs, including successful presidential elections in July and August and a marked decline in the number of peacekeepers killed or wounded despite continuing attacks by armed groups.

That is reflected in the fact that while the Canadian military’s primary task in Mali is to evacuate injured UN peacekeepers by helicopter, they have so far only conducted two such missions, both on Sept. 11.