United Nations Security Council meeting on the situation in Mali
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the A3 members of the Security Council namely, Kenya, Gabon, and my own country Ghana.
We welcome the report of the Secretary-General and thank SRSG El Ghassim Wane, for his comprehensive briefing and insightful perspectives on the situation in Mali. SRSG, we commend you for your continuous engagement with the regional actors, and appreciate your efforts in resolving the challenges in Mali. We also welcome the participation in this meeting of Bouaré Bintou Founé Samaké, who spoke on behalf of Women in Law and Development in Africa (WILDAF) in Mali and commend her for the unique perspectives.
The people of Mali are yearning for peace in their country and, so are the member States in the region. A swift return to constitutional order is what we believe will give the elected government the legitimacy to lead the process of the comprehensive implementation of the Peace Accord.
The A3 acknowledges the efforts of the international community in addressing the situation in Mali and particularly note the Secretary-General’s engagement with the Transitional Authorities and regional actors to adopt a consensual approach to dealing with the peace and security challenges in Mali as well as the reforms set out by Assisses Nationales dela Refondation (Assises). We also acknowledge the critical role being played by MINUSMA in Mali. We pay tribute to the MINUSMA personnel who have lost their lives in the line of duty and stand with the gallant personnel who continue to risk their lives for the cause of peace and stability in Mali. We welcome the mediation role of MINUSMA and the use of its good offices in supporting the Malian peace process, including for the provision of training, technical and humanitarian assistance. We look forward to the renewal of the MINUSMA’s mandate in June with elements that would enhance its logistical capabilities and effectiveness in dealing with the challenges in Mali.
Despite ongoing efforts, the A3 continues to remain concerned about the complex and dire political, security and humanitarian situation in Mali. We therefore, wish to highlight the following four issues of concern:
First, on the political front, we remain concerned by the slow progress of the implementation of the Peace Accord and the absence of a finalised time-table for the return to constitutional rule. We believe that the most sustainable way of addressing the situation in Mali is for the Transitional Authorities to adhere to the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance and by agreeing to a credible time-table for a swift return to constitutional order. We welcome the decision taken by the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS at its Extraordinary Summit held in Accra, Ghana on Friday, 25th March 2022; urging the Transitional Authorities to adhere to the additional transitional period of 12 to 16 months and note the on-going discussions between the Transitional Authorities and the ECOWAS Mediator to finalise the chronogramme.
Secondly, terrorism remains one of the greatest threats to stability in Mali and the region at large. We deplore the upsurge in extremist attacks including the use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) against civilians, the military as well as MINUSMA personnel, which have exacerbated the security situation as evidenced in 103 security incidents recorded during the first three months of 2022, including 69 civilian deaths. While recognising the investigations that are being conducted into circumstances leading to the firing of rockets close to elements of MINUSMA on 22nd March, we wish to encourage more engagement and information sharing between FAMa and MINUSMA to ensure that such incidents which undermine the safety of personnel are curtailed.
We are also concerned by the impact of the uncontrolled exit of foreign fighters and mercenaries from Libya into the Sahel, which coupled with the proliferation of arms, calls for a durable and holistic solution. The withdrawal of these extremist groups requires close monitoring and coordination to ensure a financed and effective programme of disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration in close coordination with neighbouring states and relevant regional and subregional mechanisms. In light of these security concerns, we believe that it is important to urgently
address the challenges placed in the way of TPCCs in rotating their personnel from the theatre, including several West African TPCCs such as Senegal, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Benin, Togo and Ghana who have troops in the theatre beyond the recommended mission duration. This disturbing situation has morale, disciplinary and operational implications for the troops and the mission and we call on the Malian authorities to facilitate the required rotation without further delay. We also look forward to the outcome of the planned meetings of the Sahel Coalition and the Joint Strategic Assessment of the Situation in the Sahel towards a synergistic counter-terrorism network of the Sahel and coastal West Africa, comprising the Accra Initiative and the MNJTF, with requisite sustainable funding.
Thirdly, the deteriorating human rights situation resulting from attacks by the extremist groups as well as inter-communal conflicts require greater attention.
We condemn the abuses perpetrated against women, girls and children including abductions, arbitrary detentions, sexual exploitation and abuse. These attacks constitute a violation of international human rights law. We urge the Transitional Authorities to intensify their investigations to ensure that the perpetrators of these atrocities are arrested and swiftly prosecuted. We encourage additional support for Mali’s Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission to enable it to execute its mandate effectively. We express concern over the deteriorating humanitarian
situation, characterised by forced displacements and the increase in the number of people who need humanitarian assistance. The A3, therefore, endorses the Secretary-General’s call for donors to respond more generously to the humanitarian appeal for Mali. The exacerbating impact of climate change and the COIVID-19 pandemic on the humanitarian situation also require careful attention.
Fourthly, we welcome measures aimed at addressing the developmental challenges in Mali. In this regard, we commend the Peacebuilding Commission for its interventions in Mali and believe that its role remains critical in addressing the underlying challenges in that country. We welcome the investment of $8.4m from the Peacebuilding Fund into initiatives targeting youth, women, agricultural self-employment, and electoral violence, and we encourage more of such efforts, including an increase in contribution to the Fund to enable it to achieve its mandate.
In concluding, the A3 believes now more than ever that a quick return to constitutional rule as well as a comprehensive implementation of the Peace Accord is the surest way of bringing lasting peace to Mali. Time is of the essence and the national political will and international support for such a course of action must be mobilised now!
I thank you for your kind attention.