Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Anna Evstigneeva at the VTC of UNSC members on the situation in Mali
We thank Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Mali Mahamat Saleh Annadif for his briefing on the situation in this country and the work of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). We note your cautious optimism in this regard.
We commend that transition authorities take the right steps to restore constitutional order. Charter of the transition period was adopted, National Transition Council started to operate. It is important that authorities engage in dialogue with all interested sides, including movements “Platform” and “Coordination”. Their representatives became part of the government, which constitutes a vital step on the way to national reconciliation.
We expect that the new authorities will take every effort to meet the 18-month term for the transition period, to be followed by general parliamentary and presidential elections.
Stabilization in the country depends on whether the transition government and other political forces rigorously comply with provisions of the Algiers Peace Agreement. We hope that constructive dialogue with groups-“signatories”, which is already bearing fruit, will continue and cover these issues. The second phase of disarmament, demobilization and re-integration of former combatants has been agreed. Reforms of security sector and state governance must continue, and the interests of all peoples of the country, especially those living in its northern territories, need to be taken onboard.
We must not give terrorists, who feel increasingly confident, judging by their recent attacks, an opportunity to benefit from the current predicaments. Their attacks hit civilians, UN peacekeepers, and military personnel of other states who render assistance to Mali in combating terrorism. The situation in Liptako-Gourma triangle is very worrisome: militants are fighting to reallot their areas of influence and control channels of drug and arms smuggle and trafficking. Inter-communal disputes in Mopti and Segou have assumed chronical character. In general, Mali sees an increase in assaults and abductions, upsurge of delinquency, racketeering and robberies, growth in the number of human rights violations.
The humanitarian situation in Mali raises great concern. Coronavirus pandemic has increased the number of people in need of food assistance. Many educational institutions remain closed, and medical facilities are overburdened. All of this requires urgent response of humanitarian agencies.
We support the efforts of the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in the area of political mediation for Mali. We particularly commend the role of ECOWAS, and call on Malian authorities to cooperate with regional colleagues. We welcome that steps aimed at restoration of Constitutional rule have resulted in lifting of ECOWAS's restrictions for Mali.
We should bear in mind that the situation in Mali is a key factor of regional security. We expect that Malian armed forces will continue taking a meaningful part in operations of G5 Sahel Joint Force, and that 2020 decisions of African countries to boost action against terrorism will be put to life. The idea of the AU Commission to deploy African Standby Forces in the Sahel is worth all possible support.
Close cooperation and coordination between Bamako and MINUSMA remains imperative. Peacekeepers must proceed with strict implementation of their mandate in northern and central Mali. We welcome assistance with construction of military bases in Gao, Kidala, and Timbuktu, provided through MINUSMA, as well as its assistance to G5 Sahel Joint Force. However, we remind that the main responsibility for protecting civilians and returning control of northern areas, as well as resolving socio-economic problems rests with Malians themselves.
In conclusion, we would like to express our appreciation to SRSG Annadif for his able leadership of the Mission.