Mali: there can be no peace without reconciliation among all Malians [fr]
Security Council mission to West Africa (3 - 9 March 2016) : Mali segment – Statement by Mr François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 16 March 2016
Allow me to begin by conveying my heartfelt gratitude to the Malian, Senegalese and Guinea-Bissau authorities for their warm welcome, and to the Secretariat, in particular the secretariat of the Council, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) for having enabled and so ably organized the Security Council mission from 4 to 7 March. We shall continue to work with the Secretariat to draw all lessons from that important mission. I also sincerely thank Angola and Senegal, with which we formed a tight-knit team to conduct that important visit.
I should like to focus on the visit to Mali, where the Security Council met with a great many stakeholders, including the President and members of the Government, as well as all the armed groups that signed the peace agreement. We were also able to talk with parliamentarians and State and local representatives in Timbuktu, the imams of the Timbuktu mosques and representatives of women’s organizations. We also had very useful exchanges with MINUSMA personnel and representatives of Operation Barkhane and the European Union Training Mission in Mali. Two years after the first Security Council visit to Mali, our mission allowed us to send three main messages.
The first message was that there can be no peace without reconciliation among all Malians. All components of Malian society throughout the territory will have to come together and feel included. That was the Council’s message when it visited the northern part of the country, including Timbuktu, for the first time. The Security Council meeting with the main imams in that city, which was deeply moving and powerful, clearly demonstrated that Malians yearn for peace.
Our second message was that the efforts towards reconciliation and the implementation of the peace agreement must be accelerated. The Council strongly urged all signatories to the peace agreement to speed up its concrete implementation so as to bring its peace dividends to the people of Mali. We were struck by the fact that all players in Mali — including the Government and the armed groups — spoke out clearly in favour of the peace agreement. We were able to identify all that was at stake in the full implementation of the agreement.
Our third message was that, in the face of the ongoing threat of terrorism, our resolve must be absolute. The Council offered its support to the Malian forces that are at the front line of the fight against terrorism, particularly in central Mali, which has been destabilized by an increase in terrorist attacks since early 2015. That is one reason why the Security Council was determined to visit Mopti. The mission also allowed us to demonstrate the Council’s support for the Blue Helmets of MINUSMA, whose courage and resolve in protecting the civilian population are praiseworthy. All stakeholders in Mali, including President Keita, loudly called for MINUSMA to be strengthened so that it can meet the asymmetric challenges it is facing. That was also the message that the President of Senegal clearly conveyed to us.
I have tried to be brief and clear in my assessment of our very busy and useful visit to Mali.