JOINT A-3 STATEMENT (GABON, GHANA, KENYA) BY HAROLD ADLAI AGYEMAN AMBASSADOR AND PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF GHANA TO THE UNITED NATIONS DURING THE SECURITY COUNCIL BRIEFING AND CONSULTATIONS ON MALI 18th October 2022: 10am Security Council Chamber United Nations New York
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the A3 members of the Security Council namely, Gabon, Kenya, and my own country Ghana.
We welcome the report of the Secretary-General and thank SRSG El-Ghassim Wane for his briefing.
Additionally, we welcome the presence of His Excellency Mr. Abdoulaye Diop, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mali to this meeting.
Since the last briefing to this Council on the situation in Mali, three months ago, significant developments have taken place in the country including on the political front. While we acknowledge some gains in addressing the crises in Mali, the political, security and humanitarian situations remain challenging.
Mr. President 5. On the political situation, we welcome the agreement reached between Mali and ECOWAS on the transitional timetable for elections to be held in March 2024, the adoption and promulgation of the electoral law, as well as the elaboration of a new constitution. Support by the international community for the implementation of the Commission created in July this year to Monitor the Timetable for Political and Institutional Reforms is essential in restoring constitutional order in Mali in a transparent, and inclusive manner. Additionally, the convening of the High-Level Decision-Making meeting in August this year is a significant development as it has created an atmosphere conducive for reconciliation - a necessary ingredient required for the consolidation of peace in Mali. Support to sustain such processes is essential as it would help consolidate the gains made so far and accelerate progress towards the realization of the 2015 Peace Agreement. 6. Despite these positive developments, Mali is not out of the woods yet.The A3 urges the firm and timely implementation of the Peace Agreement. We encourage stronger political will and commitment by the Malian authorities to make good their commitment. We support close monitoring by the local monitoring committee comprising the African Union, ECOWAS and the United Nations in this regard.
Mr. President, 7. Pertaining to the security situation, we remain concerned about the heightened threats posed by the expanding terrorist groups and inter- communal violence in Mali. The evolving nature of the terrorist activities, including the increasing use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), has resulted in deadly attacks against civilians and civilian objects. The reconfiguration of international counter-terrorism efforts in the Sahel including the withdrawal of the French forces from Mali has also created capability gaps. Furthermore, the decision by some of the Troop-Contributing-Countries to withdraw their troops by the close of the year could worsen the situation.
While commending the Malian authorities for the steps taken in filling the gaps through increased military presence in parts of the country, accompanied by the redeployment of civilian administration as well as the adoption of the stabilization strategy and action plan for the central regions, challenges remain. Additional steps must therefore be taken to generate capabilities under the Force Adaptation Plan as well as augmentation of the troops in a manner that demonstratively responds to actual political and security dynamics in the country.
Connected to the heightened levels of insecurity is the concern over human rights violations. We encourage the Malian authorities to continue to cooperate with MINUSMA to enable the Mission conduct investigations into alleged incidents of human rights violations.
10.The dire security situation in Mali reinforces the need to adapt regional tools of response and forge a harmonized and multi-dimensional approach to deal with the multiple security crises. We underscore the need for a more holistic approach as envisaged in the ongoing work of the Joint UN-AU-ECOWAS joint assessment in the Sahel. We look forward to an outcome of the joint assessment that would leverage the best elements of G5 Sahel Force, the Accra Initiative, the Nouakchott Process, and the Multinational Joint Task Force, in responding robustly to the growing incidence of terrorism in the Sahel, including in Mali. 11.The A3 also believes that the continuing presence of MINUSMA is an important stabilization factor in Mali. We salute the personnel who continue to sacrifice their lives to the course of peace in Mali and pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the line of duty. The A3 unreservedly condemn the attacks perpetrated yesterday against MINUSMA in Tessalit as well as all attacks against the personnel and calls for swift investigations to ensure the prosecution of the perpetrators since such acts constitute a violation of international law and international human rights law. 12.To make the presence of MINUSMA more impactful in addressing the situation in Mali, urgent steps need to be taken in addressing the myriad of challenges facing the Mission, including disinformation campaigns against them, restrictions on their movement, including air restrictions, which are affecting the Mission’s response to early warning alerts. The A3 believes that the strategic review of MINUSMA, which is expected by 13 January 2023, would provide some comprehensive and forward-looking recommendations that would make the Mission more responsive to the evolving nature of conflicts in the country.
13.We believe the Mission could benefit from stronger support in troop contribution, capacity building on counter-terrorism measures, and provision of adequate logistics, including air lift assets. It is also important for the Malian authorities to adhere to the SOFA that it has committed to; and this should be done in a manner that enhances coherence of objectives and actions for lasting peace in Mali. Equally important is the need for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Mali to be respected. 14.In a related development, we express concern about the continuing detention of the 46 Ivorian soldiers arrested in Mali since July this year, who we are told were deployed in support of a MINUSMA contingent. While the A3 welcomes the Malian authority’s commitment to resolving the challenge, we appeal for an acceleration of the resolution of the matter. We support the Secretary-Generals’ call for all efforts to be made in building trust and cooperation between Mali and its neighbors and international partners. 15.We also remain anxious over the spill-over effect of the protracted crisis in Libya on Mali, and the possible return of Foreign Terrorist Fighters and proliferation of small arms and light weapons. We therefore urge for coordinated action among the regional countries on the matter, including for DDR activities.
Mr. President, 16.Addressing the root causes of instability in Mali, as well as aggravating factors such as climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic, is essential. We urge the elevation of the role of women and the youth towards the sustenance of peace and development, including through the Peacebuilding Commission’s initiatives targeting youth, women, and agricultural self-employment as well as the strengthening of measures to empower and enhance their full and meaningful participation in all political processes. The Commission’s involvement in climate-related peace and development interventions as well as in the promotion of community-based dispute resolution mechanisms is also encouraged. 17.The A3 is alarmed by the deteriorating humanitarian situation as evidenced in over 1.8 million people facing severe food insecurity, and 2 million children under five being affected by acute malnutrition. We therefore re-iterate the Secretary-General’s call for the international community to step up its funding support to help realize the $686million Humanitarian Response Plan required for Mali in 2022. 18.In concluding, the A3 believes that strong political will and cooperation by the Malian authorities, together with deeper cooperation with regional actors and a united Council, is required in addressing the situation in Mali and bringing lasting peace to our brotherly country.
I thank you!