UN urges partners not to forsake Mali

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Mali, El-Ghassim Wane, has stressed the need for continued support to Mali,…

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Mali, El-Ghassim Wane, has stressed the need for continued support to Mali, from the Security Council and the international community.Following the announcement of the suspension of joint military operations by France with the Malian Armed Forces, Mr. Wane said Mali is at a critical juncture. He called for the country not to be allowed to slide into “a new instability with dramatic consequences for the sub-region and beyond.”

Mr. El-Ghassim Wane, speaking by videoconference from Bamako to a live Council meeting on Tuesday morning, called on Mali’s new leaders to “rise above partisan politics and personal interests and work together to address the crisis in the interest of their country and its future.

“Immediate action is now required to initiate crucial reforms and lay the groundwork for a credible electoral process. This requires an inclusive approach, strong Malian leadership, and political compromise. And the unwavering support of international partners will remain vital,” said the Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (UNMISMA).

“The absolute priority must be the organization of the presidential election on February 27, 2022, in which the authorities in charge of the transition will not be able to participate,” France insisted, following the example of a large number of delegations, specifying that the suspension of its military cooperation was done while awaiting clarifications after the junta carried out on May 24, a second putsch in nine month.

Wane said the President and Prime Minister of the transition, Colonel Assimi Goita and Choguel Maiga, have assured that they will respect the electoral calendar, which calls for elections by February, and that they will not be candidates. They also reiterated their commitment to work with armed groups, which are members of the government and signatories to the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali. This assurance was considered crucial by the majority of speakers.

Mali, for its part, called for “more active international solidarity” to ensure the success of the transition process, expressing concern about the measures taken in the wake of recent political events. Calling for “understanding” from its partners, the delegation asked for the lifting of sanctions against a country “already weakened by several years of political, security, economic and health crises.”

As the MINUSMA mandate expires at the end of June, El-Ghassim Wane described a situation on the ground marked by persistent insecurity in the north and center of the country and the threat of terrorist attacks affecting other regions.

In this volatile context, France has proposed that the two strategic priorities of the UN mission be maintained for the renewal of its mandate, namely support for the implementation of the Peace and Reconciliation Agreement and support for the stabilization of the center of the country.

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