Stabilizing Mali is crucial for the whole region, says UN envoy
New York, USA, January 30, 2022/African Media Agency(AMA)/The UN envoy to Mali stressed Friday before the Security Council how crucial the stabilization of this country is for the entire region , while the United Nations Mission he leads, MINUSMA, has been deployed in Mali for almost 10 years now.
“During this period, the Mission has accomplished a lot. But the objectives set by the Council have not yet been fully achieved and the context has undergone significant changes,” noted the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Mali, El-Ghassim Wane, before the members of the Council.
“As the Council considers the Secretary-General’s recommendation, it should be kept in mind that stabilizing Mali is essential not only for the country itself but also for the entire region,” he added. reference to the strategic review of the Mission requested by the Council.
Persistence of security challenges
In recent months, the security situation has remained “complex”, particularly in the Center and in the tri-border area between Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, noted El-Ghassim Wane.
Due to the persistence of security challenges, the number of internally displaced persons remains high. In the month of December 2022, it amounted to more than 412,300. A total of 8.8 million people need humanitarian aid, 17% more than at the beginning of 2022. 2 million children under 5 remain affected by acute malnutrition.
The Special Representative recalled that the safety of humanitarian personnel remains a major concern: in 2022, 124 incidents affected such personnel, including five humanitarian workers killed in the regions of Kayes, Ménaka and Ségou.
“During the last quarter, the MINUSMA continued to deploy sustained efforts to protect civilians despite the difficult environment in which it operates and the significant capability gaps the Mission faces,” he stressed.
According to him, in the coming period, the ability of MINUSMA to contribute effectively to improving the security situation in support of the Malian defense and security forces will depend on several factors.
The first factor relates to the provision of the required capacities and the timely replacement of departing contributing countries. Secondly, he considers it necessary to strengthen coordination with the Malian defense and security forces and, finally, he considers that respect for freedom of movement in accordance with the Status of Forces Agreement is an absolute necessity.
Slight decrease in human rights violations
El-Ghassim Wane recalled that respect for human rights and international humanitarian law in the conduct of military operations and the obligation to render accounts in the event of violations “are of the utmost importance in order to deal effectively with the scourge of terrorism and extremism”. “In this regard, the Mission has maintained dialogue with the authorities and continued to provide technical and capacity-building support,” he said, adding that the latest assessment of the human rights situation man revealed that the overall number of violations decreased slightly and that terrorist groups were the main perpetrators.
“MINUSMA will continue to investigate allegations of human rights violations and abuses,” he said.
Regarding the political environment, the UN envoy noted that Mali is less than two months away from the constitutional referendum which should mark the first of a series of polls which should lead to the restoration of order. constitutional in March 2024. According to him, “the Malian authorities continue to demonstrate their commitment to holding these elections on time”, even if “several challenges remain”.
A series of consultations with political parties and civil society have been convened by the transitional authorities to discuss various aspects of the preparation of the constitutional referendum and other elections. “These initiatives should be encouraged and supported, as inclusiveness and consensus are crucial for the overall success of the transition process,” said El-Ghassim Wane.
According to him, two other aspects will determine the trajectory of the electoral process.
First, the availability of the necessary financial and logistical resources. To date, only 60% of the resources needed for the United Nations Pooled Fund for Electoral Support have been mobilized. He encourages international partners to increase their support for Mali in this crucial endeavour. For its part, MINUSMA, in particular in collaboration with the United Nations country team, provides technical and logistical support to the electoral process and measures are underway to increase this support.
Second, the evolution of the security situation, which affects all stages of the electoral cycle. “MINUSMA will provide all possible support to the Malian authorities in their efforts to secure the electoral process,” he said.
A stalled peace process
Concerning the implementation of the peace process, the Special Representative noted that MINUSMA, with the other members of the international mediation, led by Algeria, “has spared no effort to promote dialogue between the signatory parties in order to break the current impasse”.
“I encourage the parties to spare no effort to overcome the current difficulties and achieve decisive progress in the implementation of the peace agreement,” he added.
Distributed by African Media Agency for UN Info