Political progress in Mali but "fragile" security situation

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Mongi Hamdi. MINUSMA file Photo

"Notable progress" has been made in Mali on the political front, but the security situation remains fragile, according to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the country.

Mongi Hamdi was briefing the UN Security Council on the situation in the country, where a coup d'état in 2012 continues to breed instability.

He said last Saturday was a "big day for peace" in the West African nation, as it marked the signing of an agreement by the one remaining coalition of armed groups.

Stephanie Coutrix reports.

Just days after a UN-brokered peace deal was finally signed by all parties, the Head of the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, MINUSMA, said the months ahead will be critical.

Mongi Hamdi stressed that Malians want their security and the return of basic social services such as health care and education to be prioritized.

He called on the global community and institutions to start financing the peace agreement as soon as possible.

"Scores of displaced people and refugees are returning home in spite of pressing humanitarian needs. It is therefore crucial to quickly re-establish basic social services nationwide, particularly in areas of return."

Northern Mali remains one of the most difficult environments for peacekeeping.

Violent extremists and other enemies of peace continue to indiscriminately attack MINUSMA forces and camps.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 57″

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