The Mali junta has made it an issue that the UN forces didn't hand over their bases and (some) equipment to the Mali army. Instead, because the Mali junta prohibited the UN from moving out some equipment, the UN forces (whose mandate ends because Russia and Mali decided that) chose to destroy most equipment they were not allowed to take with them.

But could the UN peacekeepers have done otherwise? Are they allowed to just pass over equipment to a national army? Does that require some official arrangement beforehand? Are there any such prior examples?

1 Answer 1


Since the UN Department of Peacekeeping has no personnel nor equipment of its own, these are normally provided by the nations taking part in peacekeeping missions (called "contributors"). A central budgetary part of deployment is their reimbursement for contingent-owned equipment – basically lease agreements.

There is an exhaustive handbook for this. I will not claim to really have read through it, but on a quick browsing the following rules in Chapter 4, part IX: Disposal of contingent-owned equipment (p. 119f) caught my attention (emphasis is mine):

  1. According to the general conditions for major equipment and self-sustainment provided by troop/police contributors under a memorandum of understanding, contingent-owned equipment remains the property of the troop/police contributor. Therefore, the disposal of such equipment is a responsibility of the troop/police contributor, unless ownership and/or responsibility for the equipment has been legally transferred to another entity.

  2. Contingent-owned equipment may be disposed of by repatriation, as stipulated in paragraph 8 of the present chapter, or in the mission area by sale, donation or disposal action by the mission on behalf of the troop/police contributor. In-mission disposal of contingent-owned equipment, by any method, must be in compliance with the mission status-of-forces agreement or status of mission agreement; host country customs and tax rules, regulations and procedures; and other relevant host country and international laws.

  3. ...

  4. Troop/police contributors may dispose of contingent-owned equipment by selling it directly to other troop/police contributors; the mission; United Nations agencies, funds and programmes; non-governmental organizations; or local governmental entities, as well as through commercial sale. Troop/police contributors should inform missions of their intention to sell such equipment by providing details of the items to be sold...

  5. Troop/police contributors may dispose of contingent-owned equipment by donation to the host government; other troop/police contributors; United Nations agencies, funds and programmes; or non-governmental organizations. Troop/police contributors shall inform the mission of the items to be donated and they will be given...

  6. Troop/police contributors shall complete all procedures required by their respective national regulations for the authorization of write-off and disposal of equipment.

So yes, passing it on might be possible, provided it is in line with the mission itself, and international and national regulations (think export restrictions) are respected.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .