The situation in Mali - Security Council, 9082nd Meeting

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29-Jun-2022 00:33:17
Security Council renews Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, adopting resolution 2640 (2022).

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Amid a shifting political and security landscape in Africa’s Sahel region, the Security Council today decided to renew the mandate of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) for another year, while calling for an assessment of its cooperation with the host country’s authorities, the challenges it faces and options for its reconfiguration.

The move comes on the heels of Mali’s recent announcement that it will withdraw from all institutions of the Group of Five for the Sahel (G5 Sahel) — including the G5 Sahel joint force formed to counter terrorism in the region — as well as the decisions by France and other European countries to withdraw their counter-terrorism forces from the country.

Adopting resolution 2640 (2022) (to be issued as document S/RES/2640(2022)) by a vote of 13 in favour to none against with 2 abstentions (China, Russian Federation), and acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, the Council also expressed serious concern over increasing allegations of violations of international law by the Malian Defence and Security Forces.

By the terms of today’s resolution, the Council urged the Malian authorities to implement the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali, signed in 2015 between the Government and various armed groups. Reiterating that the Malian authorities bear the primary responsibility to protect civilians, it called upon all parties to strictly abide by the arrangements in place for cessation of hostilities and urged the authorities — before the end of MINUSMA’s current mandate — to agree on and implement a “comprehensive, inclusive, politically focused strategy” addressing the root causes of conflict and protecting civilians.

It further called on the Malian Transition Government to make tangible progress to achieve a political transition and ensure the swift return to Constitutional order, in cooperation with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), by organizing free and fair elections.

With regard to MINUSMA, the Council decided to extend the Mission’s mandate until 30 June 2023 and retain its current troop strength of 13,289 military personnel and 1,920 police personnel. It authorized MINUSMA to use all necessary means to carry out its mandate, while deciding that its priority tasks would include supporting the implementation of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation and the political transition; exercising the Secretary-General’s good offices, confidence-building, mediation and facilitation of dialogue functions; supporting the stabilization and restoration of State authority; protecting civilians under threat of physical violence; and assisting the Mali’s authorities in their efforts to promote and protect human rights, among other things.

In a section of the resolution titled “other security presences in Mali and the Sahel region”, members stressed that security responses can only be effective if conducted in full compliance with international law. They expressed serious concerns about repeated and increased allegations of violations and abuses of international human rights and humanitarian law by Malian Defence and Security Forces in the conduct of counter-terrorism operations, as documented by MINUSMA, and urged the Mission to ensure that its support for those forces is provided in compliance with the United Nations Human Due Diligence Policy on Human Rights — “contingent on a determination by MINUSMA of the recipient’s compliance with [the Mission’s status of forces agreement], human rights and international humanitarian law”.

In that vein, the Council requested that the next report by the Secretary‑General on the G5Sahel joint force contain a section assessing how Mali’s decision to withdraw from that regional group impacts MINUSMA, and expressed its intent to make decisions thereon in view of such an assessment.

It also expressed support to the Secretary-General’s proposal to conduct an internal review of MINUSMA by no later than 13 January 2023 — without prejudice to the implementation of its current mandate and future decisions of the Security Council — including details of the political and security challenges that impact the Mission’s ability to implement its mandate; an assessment of the cooperation with the host authorities and movement restrictions; recommendations on the necessary conditions for MINUSMA to continue operating; and options on MINUSMA’s future configuration, force levels and ceiling of uniformed personnel.

Following the vote, many Council members took the floor to express their views on both the contents of the resolution and the complex situation on the ground.

The meeting began at 3 p.m. and ended at 3:34 p.m.

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