United Nations chief Antonio Guterres said Mali could collapse if the UN peacekeeping mission withdrew, but suggested an option could be to replace it with an African Union force backed by a tougher operating mandate. The AFP news agency reports that MINUSMA, which has a current deployment of 14,000 troops and police, mostly from African countries, was created in 2013 to help support the fragile Sahel country in its fight against jihadist insurgents. But the force has often been criticised for being shackled by a mandate that has left it unable to intervene robustly. To read more about this story visit the News Blog page on the Future Media website.