Statement by First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy at the UN Security Council Meeting on Mali
We welcome Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mali Tiebile Drame. We thank Special Representative of the Secretary-General Mahamat Saleh Annadif for the information he shared.
At the outset, we would like to express our deepest condolences to the people and government of Mali in regard to the horrific tragedy in village Sobane, where an ethnic clash killed approximately 100 peaceful people on June 10. We hope those responsible for this massacre will be found and duly punished. This sad development, as well as the tragic attack on the village of Ogossagou in March once again demonstrated the scope and gravity of threats that exist for the country and the region, their vulnerability in the face of destabilizing forces, such as terrorists, organized crime and extremist ideology.
We have profound concerns about the general development of the situation in Mali. Over several months, the number of terrorist attacks against both the military and civilians has grown. Human rights violations are a common thing. Inter-ethnic and inter-communal conflicts are smoldering in the very center of Mali, some of them occasionally flaring up. Apparently, the reason is not only centuries-long confrontation of nomadic and settled population. Militants deliberately try to win the affection of the local people and skillfully make use of existing contradictions. In order to overcome such challenges, it is vital to restore the State presence. We are seriously concerned about the exacerbating humanitarian situation. The number of people in need of help is growing. We call upon the external donors to fund this humanitarian appeal promptly.
We remind that when in despair, young people in Mali have no other option but to join terrorist, extremist or criminal groups. In this regard, it is crucial that steps to boost economic and investment activity in the Northern and Central areas of Mali should be taken without delay. Social services should get back to these regions. We welcome the efforts of Bamako, Malian political forces and “signee-groups” – “Platform” and “Coordination” – that they make to implement the peace accord. We expect that they will abide by the term of implementation of main provisions that have to do with restoring Malian security forces, carrying out administrative and territorial reform, and preparing for a constitutional referendum. Any delays will only aggravate the existing threats and increase the country’s vulnerability in the face of destabilizing forces – terrorists, organized crime and extremist ideology.
At the same time, we call upon our colleagues not to get carried away by restrictive measures. The current sanctions regime should first prove its efficiency. We proceed from the assumption that Malian law-enforcement bodies would do a better work of preventing illegal activities of sanction-affected individuals and others who sabotage the political process.
We support the activities of MINUSMA that plays an important role in stabilizing the country. We believe it is vital that its effectiveness and robustness be maintained. We call upon our colleagues to take a well-considered approach to any decisions regarding the future of MINUSMA.
The situation in Mali is a serious factor of all-African security. However, it does not seem possible to ensure settlement in this country without normalizing the situation in the region. The Libyan factor is playing a continuously negative role. “Linkage” between terrorists active in Mali and those in the region becomes more obvious. In this regard, we support concrete steps of G5 Sahel to build joint forces to counter terrorism and organized crime. We expect their role in ensuring regional security will be growing.
I thank you.