8636th Security Council Meeting: Situation in Mali

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08-Oct-2019 01:10:00
Step up implementation of peace agreement, Security Council urges Mali, as top official reports on deadly violence against peacekeepers at 8636th meeting.

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Permanent Representative Affirms Launch of National Dialogue, Outlines Steps to Boost Security, Trust in Central Region

Condemning the recent upsurge in deadly attacks against peacekeepers in Mali, officials and delegates in the Security Council urged parties to the conflict there to step up implementation of the 2015 Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in the embattled Sahelian country.

Mahamat Saleh Annadif, the Secretary‑General’s Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), said by video‑teleconference from Bamako that the casualties cast a pall over today’s meeting. The continuing cycle of violence is particularly grave in central Mali, where more than 170,000 people have been displaced, he reported. However, there are also positive signs in the launch of the inclusive national dialogue and other areas, he added.

Expressing regret over last week’s horrific attacks on Boulkessi and Mondoro, the death of a “blue helmet” just 48 hours ago at Aguelhok and the wounding of another near Bandiagara, he noted, however, that the launch of the inclusive national dialogue is a significant advance towards implementation of the Peace Agreement. Others include the July promulgation of the law on national reconciliation and the law establishing the principles for the creation of a development zone in northern Mali. There has also been progress in the integration of former combatants into the national armed forces, he added.

Unfortunately, however, the meeting of the Follow‑Up Committee monitoring implementation of the Peace Agreement did not happen on 17 September as planned, creating bad feelings among the signatory parties, he noted. Those were exacerbated by the Government’s announcement of its intention to review certain elements of the Peace Agreement during the inclusive national dialogue. He called upon all stakeholders to engage in the dialogue nevertheless, noting that consolidation of trust is critical for the peace process truly to take hold and for follow‑up meetings to be held in a constructive manner.

He went on to report that, in addition to its peacekeeping function, MINUSMA is helping to organize community rehabilitation mechanisms to combat violence and help reintegration efforts. However, the resumption of State services is essential in ending the violence, he said, stressing MINUSMA’s determination to carry out all its mandated responsibilities in conjunction with the Government of Mali and international partners, including the “Group of Five for the Sahel” (G5 Sahel) joint force, Operation Barkhane and the European Union.

Also briefing members was José Singer Weisinger (Dominican Republic), Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 2374 (2017) concerning Mali. He reported that the Committee listed eight individuals for targeted sanctions and is working with the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) to enforce the measures. He went on to announced that he will visit Bamako from 16 to 18 October to engage with national authorities and explore prospects for promoting peace and reconciliation in Mali and stability in the broader region.

A number of Council members then took the floor to condemn the attacks, express concern over the continuing violence and express support for MINUSMA, while urging further progress towards implementation of the Peace Agreement.

Côte d’Ivoire’s representative said the launch of the inclusive national dialogue represents hope in the “slow but encouraging” progress, and called upon Member States to provide full funding for the humanitarian appeal for Mali in light of widespread displacement and continuing extremist violence. The entire region requires a paradigm shift in efforts to combat terrorism, he added, recalling that the recent Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Summit in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, agreed a priority plan of action to that end.

The representative of the United States said that despite MINUSMA’s commendable efforts, increasing violence reveals a lack of political follow‑through. Stressing that MINUSMA should not be viewed as a solution to a regional counter‑terrorism problem, she pointed out that the G5 Sahel and the Multinational Joint Task Force already have the appropriate means to undertake that mandate.

Mali’s representative affirmed that his country’s Government is fully committed to implementation of the Peace Agreement. Affirming the launch of the inclusive national dialogue, he said: “That is proof that we are living up to our commitment to get Malians to talk to each other.”

He went on to outline measures taken in terms of security, justice, human rights and reconciliation, saying efforts to extend services and promote development are being established, with 21 per cent of the national budget allocated to local authorities. Acknowledging the impatience of Council members over the lag in implementing the Peace Agreement, he detailed the considerable challenges Mali faces, calling upon partners to dispense all the monies they pledged previously.

Amid continuing attacks by extremists, drug traffickers and other “handmaidens of evil” fuelling divisiveness among Malians, he continued, an integrated plan for the country’s central region addresses both the need to ensure security and to building trust, he said. In addition, he stressed the urgent need to invest further in the Sahel’s capacity to defend itself against terrorism, describing Mali and the broader region as a bulwark against the violent extremism threatening the entire globe. Initiatives such as the G-5 Sahel should be fully supported, he said, vowing: “We in the region are prepared to play our part to the hilt to live up to our responsibility.”

Also speaking today were representatives of Indonesia, China, Equatorial Guinea, and South Africa.

The meeting began at 10:15 a.m. and ended at 11:24 a.m.

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