The Escalation of Violence in the Centre of Mali Calls for an Updated Road Map to Peace [fr]
Statement by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
Security Council - 12 June 2019
I would like to begin by thanking the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Annadif, for his very enlightening presentation and for his exemplary work. I also welcome the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Mali, Mr. Tiébilé Dramé, to the Council. It is an honour to be here with him and we appreciate his presence as an important gesture.
I would like to begin my statement by expressing our deepest condolences to the Government and the people of Mali in the aftermath of a despicable attack that once again struck the country’s central region. France will stand resolutely by Mali’s side throughout this new ordeal. I take this opportunity to pay tribute to the memory of all the civilians, State officials and members of the national and international armed forces who lost their lives in the terrorist and intercommunal violence that, unfortunately, affects Mali on almost a daily basis.
The escalation of violence that central Mali is experiencing today requires us to bestir ourselves and take urgent action, especially to prevent new massacres from occurring. The Malian authorities on the front line in this regard and we encourage them to take all necessary measures to prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes, disarm the militia and engage in meaningful intercommunity dialogue without delay. In the longer term, only the re-establishment of the State’s authority and presence, the restoration of basic social services and genuine efforts to combat impunity will be able to restore peace in the region. France will propose a draft press statement containing these various elements at the end of this meeting.
The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) has a significant role to play in accompanying and supporting the Malian authorities in the centre of the country. In this regard, I wish to commend the important steps undertaken by the Mission since the adoption of resolution 2423 (2018) in June last year. We hope that MINUSMA will continue to bolster its support in the region, including in helping to redeploy the State and protect civilians. We must also bear in mind that the Mission’s work is not intended to act as a substitute for the primary responsibility of the Malian authorities, and that it can be effective only if it is based on the redoubled commitment of the latter. We must also ensure that MINUSMA has the adequate means at its disposal to meet the needs that exist on the ground.
The implementation of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali in the north remains a prerequisite for the stabilization of Mali and the region. Unprecedented progress has been made in recent months, including with regard to the latest demands made by the Council in its presidential statement S/PRST/2019/2 of April. The inclusive national dialogue to be held in the near future is also a good sign regarding consensual progress in the conduct of the Government’s political and institutional reforms, some of which relate to the agreement.
The progress made to date, however, remains largely insufficient and needs to be rapidly consolidated. That is why we encourage the Malian parties to adopt an updated road map, articulated around a limited number of priorities accompanied by binding deadlines, as soon as possible. I refer in particular to continuing the constitutional review process, developing a plan for the redeployment of the reconstituted Malian armed forces in the north, making tangible progress in decentralization and effectively operationalizing the northern economic development zone. The Council must continue to define precise expectations on these key points for the implementation of the agreement through benchmarks. It must also be made clear that the non-implementation of these benchmarks comes at a cost, including possible sanctions.
MINUSMA continues and will continue to play a vital role in the stability of Mali, as recalled by the Secretary-General in his recent report (S/2019/454) and by the Special Representative in his briefing today. We welcome in particular the Mission’s efforts in recent months to reinforce its robust posture and to improve coordination between its various pillars and interaction with the country team, as well as to cooperate with other security elements deployed on the ground. I believe that these efforts have been widely recognized.
In the difficult context we are witnessing, we believe that the renewal of the Mission’s mandate for an additional 12 months, while maintaining unchanged parameters, is absolutely essential. We wish to take advantage of this in order to maintain heightened pressure in favour of implementing the peace agreement, to strengthen the Mission’s actions in the centre in support of the efforts of the Malian authorities and to continue developing partnerships with the other security elements cited in resolution 2423 (2018). We also fully support the implementation of the options for the Mission’s adaptation, as proposed by the Secretary-General, which will continue to enhance the effectiveness of the Mission’s work. We will, of course, continue to encourage efforts to reduce security threats to MINUSMA while preserving sufficient flexibility and agility in its posture. Finally, we will seek to promote the adoption of a clear, realistic and concise mandate, in line with the recommendations made within the framework of the Action for Peacekeeping initiative.
The Council’s responsibility is to continue supporting Mali along the road to peace, in the understanding that the international community cannot serve as a replacement for the efforts of the Malian authorities, which are indispensable in driving Mali towards lasting peace and stability. That is the spirit of the draft resolution France will be working on until the end of this month, together with its partners in the Council, in order to renew the MINUSMA mandate. You may rest assured, Sir, of my country’s full commitment to that end.