UN peacekeepers' second phase of withdrawal from Mali faces challenges due to tight schedule and dangerous security conditions.

The Minusma mission, consisting of 13,000 personnel, must exit Mali by December 31 after a decade of efforts to stabilize the country.

Withdrawal was initiated following Mali's ruling junta's demand and French troop pullout in 2022.

Recent attacks on withdrawal operations, including at the Ber base, highlight security risks.

Convoys involving hundreds of vehicles and long distances are vulnerable in hostile terrain.

Around 1,100 UN peacekeepers have already returned to their countries.

By September 30, about one-third of Minusma's civilian staff will be withdrawn.

Second phase (through December 15) involves abandoning six bases in northern, northeastern, and central Mali.

"Incredibly difficult" phase due to challenging terrain, constant insecurity, and paralyzed bodies monitoring the 2015 peace agreement.

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