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 BREIFING ON MALI 13th June 2022 10am Security Council Chamber New York
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the A3 members of the Security Council namely, Gabon, my own country Ghana and Kenya.
We welcome the report of the Secretary-General and thank SRSG El-Ghassim Wane for his comprehensive briefing and insightful perspectives on the situation in Mali. His continuous engagement with the regional actors including the pursuit of preventive diplomacy as part of efforts in resolving the challenges in Mali is commendable.
We also welcome the participation in this meeting of Sadya Toure who spoke on behalf of Founder and Executive Director of Mali Musso. Additionally, we warmly welcome the presence of H.E Abdoulaye Diop, of Mali.
4. Achieving peace and security remains one of the foremost priorities of the people of Mali as well as the entire continent of Africa. This much desired goal can only be realised through enhanced support and cooperation by all stakeholders at the national, regional and international level.
5. We therefore support the continuing and indispensable role of MINUSMA in sustaining the peace in Mali and look forward to the renewal of its mandate as well as the renewed cooperation with the host country.
6. In light of the complex political, security and humanitarian situation persisting in Mali, and mindful of the urgent need to address the situation, the A3 wishes to highlight the following points as we consider the report of the Secretary-General: First, we remain concerned by the political situation in Mali, in terms of both the slow progress in the implementation of the Algiers Peace Agreement and the absence of an
agreed transitional calendar to constitutional rule. This protracted situation could impact negatively on the stability of Mali. We welcome the decision taken by ECOWAS at its Extraordinary Summit of the Authority of Heads of State and Government held in Accra, Ghana on 4th June 2022, which encouraged dialogue with the ECOWAS Mediator with a view to finalising discussions in reaching an acceptable timetable for a quick return to constitutional order. We urge the transitional authorities to continue to positively engage with ECOWAS on this matter before its next Ordinary Summit in July. We take note of the decision announced by the Mali authorities on 6th June to extend the transitional timelines to 24 months and hope that it would not prejudice efforts towards seeking a mutually acceptable solution by all parties. Second, despite the increasingly challenging security environment in Mali, MINUSMA continues to support security in many parts of the country where it has presence. While counting on the support of the Council for the mandate renewal, the Mission must be made fit-for-purpose. In this regard, the Mission would benefit from stronger support in troop contribution, capacity building on counter-terrorism measures, and provision of adequate logistics, including air lift assets. These support enhancements are critical to the effectiveness of the Mission’s adaptation plan. Furthermore, the A3 wishes to underscore that an appropriate mandate from this Council, without cooperation from the host authorities will not yield the required positive results. While there is a major crises underway, as defenders of the UN Charter and African sovereignty, we remain guided by the need to reiterate respect for the sovereignty, and political independence of Mali. We, therefore, reiterate the importance of renewed cooperation between the Transitional Authorities and the Mission. In particular, it is critical that the government 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. Third, the safety and security of UN peacekeeping troops in Mali is an issue of concern to the A-3. The increasingly sophisticated, and deadly attacks by terrorist groups against civilians and civilian objects, and the Mission’s personnel particularly through the use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), indirect fire and Rocket Propelled Grenades is alarming. While acknowledging the efforts of the Malian Army in addressing the security situation, we believe that a detailed assessment of the capacity gap of UN troops and the Malian army would be useful in determining the appropriate strategies to be deployed in filling the gaps to help counter the security threats to those who sacrifice their lives to guarantee the peace of others. We pay tribute to the MINUSMA personnel who have lost their lives in the line of duty and express our appreciation to the gallant personnel who continue to sacrifice for the sake of achieving peace in Mali. Even as we call for more measures to protect peacekeepers, we urge that they be supported to be robust enough in their training, operational posture, force multipliers and intelligence assets to be able to protect civilians and fully implement the mandate. Fourth, we note the delay in the rotation of the TCCs whose troops have spent more than one year with MINUSMA following the non-granting of flight permits. This development, which affects discipline, control and operational effectiveness could have an adverse impact on the objectives of the Mission and the commitment of troop contributing countries to the cause of peace in Mali. We, therefore, request the Secretary-General to resolve this matter as early as possible with the Transitional Authorities. Fifth, the decision by Mali to withdraw from the G5 Sahel Joint Force is regrettable, in particular following the decisions on the withdrawal of the French forces and other western partners from Mali, as this could create significant security gaps which should be addressed. It is our view that regional arrangements and mechanisms still provide the best opportunity to comprehensively address the security situation in the Sahel region, including Mali. We, therefore, underscore the need for renewed cooperation, coordination and complementarity of efforts between and among the actors operating in the region such as, MINUSMA, MNJTF, the Nouakchott Process, and the Accra Initiative, as well as individual Member States and Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms (RECs/RMs). We also remain anxious over the spill-over effect of the protracted crisis in Libya on the Sahel, and the possible return of Foreign Terrorist Fighters and proliferations of small arms and light weapons. We therefore urge for coordinated action among the regional countries including in DDR in addressing the matter. The question of adequate, predictable and sustainable funding for regional security initiatives that respond to threats to international peace and security is a pressing matter that we urge the Council to have a coherent position on. We welcome the ongoing efforts of the AU-UN-ECOWAS-G5 Sahel to undertake
Joint Strategic Assessment on Governance and Security in the Sahel and appeal for the mobilization of requisite political, financial and technical support, in order to facilitate the successful implementation of the envisaged outcome. Sixth, we encourage greater attention to be given to addressing the root causes and drivers of terrorism in the Sahel. A major part of this is for the government to win the faith of the population by embracing Mali’ ethnic, regional and political diversity. During, and after the transition to civilian rule, it is critical that while the State undertakes military measures against terrorist groups, it combines this with an exclusive embrace of diversity. This is a critical foundation for countering terrorist, militant and spoiler groups in regard to reinforcing the social contract between the State and the people. In this regard, we commend the Peacebuilding Commission for its interventions in Mali including initiatives targeting youth, women, agricultural self-employment, and encourage more of such efforts.
Lastly, the A3 condemns in the strongest terms the attacks by terrorists and armed groups against civilians on the territory of Mali and the persistent abuses perpetrated against women, girls and children including through abductions, arbitrary detentions, sexual exploitation and abuse. We underscore that such acts are in flagrant violation of international human rights law and therefore, encourage the Malian Authorities to carry out swift investigations in a manner that allows for the prosecution of the perpetrators of such atrocious crimes. Also, a related concern is the deteriorating humanitarian situation resulting from the heightened insecurity as well as climate change, food insecurity, and the COVID-19 pandemic. This has for instance contributed to an increase of more than 13, 000displaced persons over the period of three months. We, therefore, re-echo the appeal by the Secretary- General for urgent donor support to fill the USD$651 million gap in the Humanitarian Response Plan for Mali.
7. In conclusion, we reiterate the importance of strengthening cooperation and dialogue between the Malian authorities, the region, MINUSMA, all the international partners and reaffirm our commitment to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Mali. We, therefore,
count on the support of all delegations in ensuring that the MINUSMA mandate is renewed in a manner that enhances its robustness in addressing the security situation in Mali.
I thank you for your kind attention.