8445th Security Council Meeting: Situation in Mali

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16-Jan-2019 02:05:35
Amid continuing violence, efforts to implement Mali peace agreement must Be intensified, Assistant Secretary-General tells Security Council at 8445th meeting.

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While violence continues to exacerbate the crisis in and beyond Mali, greater efforts must be made to address resilience, governance and development deficits in the Sahel region, with all parties to the Bamako peace agreement making every effort to sustain a positive momentum and speed up its implementation to make meaningful progress without delay, the United Nations Assistant Secretary‑General for Africa told the Security Council today.

Encouraged by the constructive environment in relations between the parties, Bintou Keita provided details about her recent visit to assess the implementation of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali, signed in Bamako in May 2015 and updated the Council on developments on the ground. While results remain to be seen following the Security Council sanctions on three individuals hindering implementation of the Agreement, she said the parties are fully aware of its frustration and impatience with delays in implementing the accord. Meanwhile, parties see the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) as playing an essential political role, working with all sides to accelerate its implementation.

Citing the Secretary-General’s latest report on the situation in Mali and the work of MINUSMA (document S/2018/1174), she cited positive steps forward, including the launch in November 2018 of a disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process and a high-level workshop on security sector reform. Recent signs of a more open political dialogue, as seen by consensus on the outcome of the elections, are also encouraging. Yet, with the political landscape still polarized, constructive and inclusive dialogue that includes civil society, women and youth remains essential.

The security situation, however, remains a grave concern and major challenge to implementation of the Agreement, she said, pointing at asymmetric attacks targeting peacekeepers, national and international forces, and increasingly civilians. Moreover, the humanitarian situation remains dire, with 2.3 million people targeted by the 2019 humanitarian response plan and more than 800 schools closed due to insecurity. In a regional context, she reiterated the Secretary‑General’s call on national, regional and international actors to redouble their efforts to tackle the multiple threats facing Mali and the Sahel region. She called on the Group of Five for the Sahel (G-5 Sahel) member States to take all necessary steps to resume the operations of the G-5 Sahel joint force, and on international partners to provide the support it needs.

Mali’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kamissa Camara, thanking the international community and the Council for its efforts, said real progress continues in implementing the peace process, including political, security and development gains. Yet, the people of Mali need the Council and international community’s solidarity and support to tackle pressing security and development challenges with a view to fostering peace and achieving sustainable stability.

Council members expressed their support, underscoring the importance of taking further steps along the path to peace, with resolution 2423 (2018) defining specific measures and timelines, including the fast approaching deadline to implement some of its measures by 6 March. South Africa’s representative called on all parties to the conflict to seize an opportunity to reinvigorate the peace process. He also expressed support for the Secretary-General’s recommendation for the Council to establish a United Nations support office for the G-5 Sahel joint force.

In a similar vein, Kuwait’s representative commended the role played by national and regional armed forces, calling on the G-5 Sahel force to make full use of MINUSMA. Peru’s representative recommended efforts to strengthen the capacity of Malian armed forces to enable it to successfully tackle the twin threats of terrorism and arms trafficking that continued to generate a constant spiral of violence. In addition, enhancing the independent judicial system will produce an important tool to address human rights violations and end impunity.

Raising concerns about the violence and humanitarian situation in central Mali, some delegates called for enhanced targeted efforts to address the root causes. The United Kingdom’s delegate suggested the Government of Mali develop a comprehensive political strategy. Now is the time for further action on the rapid implementation of the peace agreement, he said, noting that the United Kingdom is increasing its presence and assistance in Mali and the Sahel region.

Agreeing on the urgency of winning further gains in implementing the peace plan, France’s delegate said, given that the Council’s expectations have not been achieved, members must both encourage parties to move forward and address non‑compliance with the Agreement. For its part, France and partners have decided to suspend all contact with individuals until sanctions measures are lifted.

Also delivering statements today were representative of Germany, Russian Federation, China, Indonesia, Equatorial Guinea, Poland, Côte d’Ivoire, United States, Belgium and the Dominican Republic.

The meeting began at 9:44 a.m. and ended at 11:51 a.m.

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