UN / MALI

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11-Jan-2022 00:02:55
A decade after civil conflict erupted in Mali, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the country, El-Ghassim Wane, told the Security Council that “every effort” should be made to resolve current challenges linked to the transition process, as “a protracted impasse will make it much harder to find a consensual way out.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / MALI
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DATELINE: 11 JANUARY 2022, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE – NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior United Nations Headquarters

11 JANUARY 2022, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. Med shot, Mali representative
4. SOUNDBITE (English) El-Ghassim Wane, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Mali:
“Every effort should also be made to resolve as soon as possible the current challenges linked to the transition process. A protracted impasse will make it much harder to find a consensual way out, while increasing hardship for the population and further weakening state capacity. Such scenario will have far-reaching consequences for Mali and its neighbours.”
5. Wide shot, Council, Wane on screen
6. SOUNDBITE (English) El-Ghassim Wane, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Mali:
“Following the Assises’s conclusion, on New Year’s Eve, Malian authorities conveyed to the Chairman of ECOWAS its outcomes along with a projection for the holding of presidential elections at the end of 2026. On 5 January, the ECOWAS Mediator was dispatched to Mali for further consultations after which Mali reverted with a revised proposal for the holding of elections at the end of 2025. As outlined in their communiqué, ECOWAS Heads of State and Government found the proposed chronogram to be unacceptable. Urging Malian authorities to focus on a speedy return to constitutional order, they upheld the individual sanctions put in place on 12 December and imposed additional ones.”
7. Wide shot, Council
8. SOUNDBITE (French) Issa Konfourou, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Mali:
“We were shocked to learn of the imposition of economic and financial sanctions targeting Mali. These measures contrast with the efforts of the government and its willingness and availability to engage in dialogue with a view to reaching compromise with ECOWAS. The government of Mali emphatically condemned these illegal and illegitimate sanctions, sanctions adopted by the West Africa Economic and Monetary Union and ECOWAS in founding text of these organizations and in a manner that is at variance with the principles of solidarity and the Pan African ideal.”
9. Wide shot, Council
10. Wide shot, Ambassadors at the stakeout podium
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Martin Kimani, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Kenya:
“The A-3 reaffirms its support for the decisions of ECOWAS, including the imposition of sanctions on the military authorities in Mali to ensure an expedited transition to constitutional rule. We urge the transition authorities to pay heed to the firm stance of African Union’s constitutional act in regard to an unconstitutional government, and therefore by extension, the Union’s expectation of a prompt transition.”
12. Wide shot, Ambassador walks away

STORYLINE:

A decade after civil conflict erupted in Mali, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the country, El-Ghassim Wane, told the Security Council today (11 Jan) that “every effort” should be made to resolve current challenges linked to the transition process, as “a protracted impasse will make it much harder to find a consensual way out.”

Such scenario, The Special Representative said, “will have far-reaching consequences for Mali and its neighbours.”

Wane, who is also the Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) also briefed the Council on the current stand-off between the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Malian transitional leadership, controlled by the military.

Over the weekend, ECOWAS held an Extraordinary Summit and decided that the proposed timetable for the transition, lasting up to five and a half years, was “totally unacceptable”.

Urging Malian authorities to focus on a speedy return to constitutional order, they decided to uphold individual sanctions put in place on 12 December and imposed additional ones.

Wane said that following the conclusion of the Assises Nationales de la Refondation, “on New Year’s Eve, Malian authorities conveyed to the Chairman of ECOWAS its outcomes along with a projection for the holding of presidential elections at the end of 2026. On 5 January, the ECOWAS Mediator was dispatched to Mali for further consultations after which Mali reverted with a revised proposal for the holding of elections at the end of 2025. As outlined in their communiqué, ECOWAS Heads of State and Government found the proposed chronogram to be unacceptable. Urging Malian authorities to focus on a speedy return to constitutional order, they upheld the individual sanctions put in place on 12 December and imposed additional ones.”

The new sanctions include the recall of ambassadors from Bamako, the closing of land and air borders, suspension of all commercial and financial transactions (with some exemptions), and the suspension of financial assistance, among others.

Mali reciprocated by recalling its ambassadors and closing its borders with ECOWAS Member States.

Addressing the Council, Mali’s Ambassador Issa Konfourou said, “we were shocked to learn of the imposition of economic and financial sanctions targeting Mali. These measures contrast with the efforts of the government and its willingness and availability to engage in dialogue with a view to reaching compromise with ECOWAS. The government of Mali emphatically condemned these illegal and illegitimate sanctions, sanctions adopted by the West Africa Economic and Monetary Union and ECOWAS in founding text of these organizations and in a manner that is at variance with the principles of solidarity and the Pan African ideal.”

Outside the Council, Kenyan Ambassador Martin Kimani, flanked by the Ambassadors of Ghana and Gabon spoke on behalf of the Africa 3 (A-3) group of the Security Council.

Kimani said, “the A-3 reaffirms its support for the decisions of ECOWAS, including the imposition of sanctions on the military authorities in Mali to ensure an expedited transition to constitutional rule. We urge the transition authorities to pay heed to the firm stance of African Union’s constitutional act in regard to an unconstitutional government, and therefore by extension, the Union’s expectation of a prompt transition.”

The Malian Government has been seeking to restore stability following a series of setbacks since early 2012, including a failed military coup d'état, renewed fighting between Government forces and Tuareg rebels, and the seizure of its northern territory by radical extremists.
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