Peace agreement in Mali : commitments must be translated into action [fr]
STATEMENT BY MS. NATHALIE BROADHURST
DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF FRANCE TO THE UNITED NATIONS
AT THE SECURITY COUNCIL
New York, 6 April 2021
= Translation from French =
I would like to thank Under-Secretary-General Jean-Pierre Lacroix for his statement. I also welcome the presence of the Permanent Representative of Mali, Mr. Issa Konfourou.
The Security Council condemned the terrorist attack on 2 April against MINUSMA in Aguelhok, which claimed the lives of four Chadian peacekeepers. I salute the bravery shown by the Chadian contingent in repelling this attack.
We are one year away from the elections, which should mark the end of the transition in Mali. As time progresses, it is essential that all Malian actors seize the opportunity that this period represents.
First of all, I would like to reaffirm the political objectives of the coming months.
The implementation of the peace agreement remains imperative. The holding of two sessions of the Comité de suivi de l’accord (Agreement Follow-up Committee) in Kidal and Kayes are positive steps. But commitments must now be translated into action. In particular, the DDR process must be accelerated to allow the integration of combatants from the signatory groups into the national forces and the redeployment of the reconstituted army throughout the country. It is also a question of making progress on decentralisation and development in the north of the country, and of setting up the territorial police, as well as ensuring greater participation of women in the process. These specific objectives are achievable in the coming months.
Furthermore, we encourage the transitional authorities to accelerate preparations for the March 2022 elections. It is essential that the process is accompanied by an open and thorough dialogue with the entire political class and representatives of civil society. A strong participation of women and youth will be necessary.
It also seems important to us that the political reforms be carried out before the elections, while of course setting priorities to be achieved in this relatively short period of time. I am thinking in particular of the overhaul of the bodies in charge of elections and of progress on constitutional reform.
Beyond these political objectives, the N’Djamena Summit of 15 and 16 February drew up a global roadmap for the coming months in the Sahel.
First of all, we must continue the fight against terrorism and support the Sahel countries so that they can manage this threat independently. France salutes all partners, in particular the European Union and its Member States, who are contributing to the support of the G5 Sahel Joint Force. At the N’Djamena summit, the heads of state of the G5 Sahel, the African Union, the European Union and its member states called for increased and sustained UN support for the joint force to enable it to continue to gain operational strength. The support provided by MINUSMA via the tripartite mechanism is still necessary for the operations of the Joint Force. And today I am making an urgent appeal to the United Nations and the European Union to speed up the use of contractors. We regret that this provision has not yet been implemented, even though this Council called for its launch ten months ago.
To be effective, these security efforts must also be accompanied by a genuine civilian surge, as agreed at the N’Djamena summit. This consists of a strong political commitment by the Malian authorities to deploy public services in the remote areas of Mali. We hope that MINUSMA will fully play its role and accompany the redeployment of the defence forces, the security forces and all government services. We also encourage close coordination between the Malian armed forces and MINUSMA.
Respect for the rule of law is also essential. France welcomes the measures that have already been implemented by the Malian authorities to put an end to Human Rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law. We call on them to go even further in order to put an end to impunity.
Beyond these actions in terms of security and governance, we all know that stabilising the region requires a substantial effort in terms of humanitarian aid and development. France welcomes the appointment of the United Nations Coordinator for the Development of the Sahel, Mr Abdoulaye Mar Dieye. We hope that his work will enable a more effective implementation of the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel. The French Development Agency has accelerated the implementation of its projects, with €350 million disbursed in 2020 in the G5 Sahel countries. We also welcome Mark Lowcock’s decision to set up a regional fund for Central and West Africa, which will focus in particular on the Sahel; France’s contribution to this fund will amount to one million euros. This will come in addition to France’s funding to the UN humanitarian agencies in the Sahel, which amounts to almost 5 million euros for 2021.
Thank you, Mr President.