JOINT A-3 STATEMENT (GABON, GHANA, MOZAMBIQUE) BY HAROLD ADLAI AGYEMAN AMBASSADOR AND PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF GHANA TO THE UNITED NATIONS DURING THE SECURITY COUNCIL BRIEFING AND CONSULTATIONS ON MALI 12th April 2023 (10am) Security Council Chamber New York
I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the members of the A3 namely, Gabon, Mozambique, and Ghana.
We welcome the quarterly report of the Secretary-General on Mali and thank SRSG El-Ghassim Wane for his insightful briefing and for the effective leadership of MINUSMA.
While the situation in Mali continues to be complex and difficult, we acknowledge that some gains have been achieved since the last briefing to the Council three months ago, including on the substantive elements of the peace agreement such as the draft constitution, the justice, truth and reconciliation commission and the efforts to operationalize the electoral management body.
We pay tribute to the gallant MINUSMA personnel who continue to sacrifice their lives to achieve peace in Mali and believe that the continued operation of the Mission is essential in stabilising the security situation in Mali. The A3 welcomes the resolve of the FAMa to secure the Malian territory in line with their sovereign commitments.
The A3 in this statement intends to address the political, security and humanitarian situation in Mali.
First, on the political situation, we remain concerned by the paralysis of the Follow-up Committee of the Peace and Reconciliation Agreement in Mali (CSA), which has not met since November 2022. We urge the early convening of the 7th high-level session of the Agreement Monitoring Committee to address the differences in the implementation of the Agreement and encourage the safeguarding of the civic space since it underpin efforts in advancing the political process. We note the partial implementation of the accelerated DDR, the continued holding of the ceasefire arrangements under the Peace Agreement and some progress in the transition roadmap. We believe that these factors are necessary building blocks that must be consolidated in the transition to restore constitutional order through the conduct of peaceful elections by March 2024.
While recognizing the efforts being made by the Malian authorities to restore constitutional order in the country, we remain concerned about some obstacles, including unresolved differences over the draft constitution and the postponement of the referendum. The transition serves as a springboard to the effective realization of the Peace Agreement as well as the fulfilment of the country’s obligations under the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance. It is important that the remaining time be effectively organized to realize the institutional reforms and fulfill the electoral commitment.
We call on all the parties to the Peace Agreement to remain united in resolving prevailing differences since the lack of unity undermines the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) process, including the development of the national strategic plan for 2022-2024. The implementation of the Peace Agreement remains essential to get the country out of the crisis and we accordingly urge all the signatories to show political will. We commend in this regard the diplomatic efforts and investments of Algeria on the issue.
Secondly,on the security horizon, were main worried about the nature of the situation which has been characterized by persisting incidents of terrorist attacks and the continuous use of Improvised Explosive Devises (IEDs), leading to numerous civilian and military casualties. We strongly condemn such attacks and express our condolences to the families and victims of these atrocious acts. The security gaps in parts of Mali, especially in the north and center, risk heightening insecurity and emboldening terrorist groups to navigate their way through and wreak more havoc. We welcome the launch of the strategy for the stabilization of the centre and call for strong commitment in its implementation to help tackle the security situation. We hope that the withdrawal of some troop contributing countries, the most recent being Jordan, would be mitigated and that State presence would be enhanced.
While awaiting the outcome of the joint Military and Police capability study on the strategic review, it is important for urgent steps to be taken in addressing the logistical and operational constraints facing the Mission. The provision of adequate troop strength, enhancement of the counter-terrorism strategies, provision of airlift assets, and removal of both land and air restrictions are critical in making the Mission more responsive to the evolving security challenges in Mali. We continue to encourage the host authority’s cooperation with MINUSMA in accordance with the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA).
The A3 recalls that the destabilization of Mali and the Sahel region is directly connected with the destabilization of Libya, as we note with concern, the spill-over effect on the Sahel of the lingering crisis in Libya. We call for coordinated action to help manage the threat that the return of Foreign Terrorist Fighters and the proliferation of small arms and light weapons pose to the stability of Mali. We also note the complementary role of regional security arrangements such as the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), the Accra Initiative as well as the G5 Sahel Joint Force and hope that the upcoming report of the high-level panel on the Sahel would interlock the benefits of those arrangements in ways that would advance Mali’s stability.
10.The dire humanitarian situation, arising from the persisting conflict, climate shocks and food insecurity that has resulted in 175,000 additional refugees and an estimated 8.8 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in 2023, require urgent attention. We recall that climate change is one of the causes of persistent insecurity and the rise of communal tensions in Mali and the Sahel region. We appeal to donor partners to consider increasing their funding support to help meet the $751.4 million target required in tackling the humanitarian situation. 11.Despite the efforts being made by the host authorities on the human rights front, including the establishment of a human rights division within the Ministry of Justice, we are not ‘out of the woods yet’ considering the persistence of grave human rights violations against women and children including conflict-related sexual violence as well as abductions that are committed mainly by armed groups. We encourage the authorities to expedite investigations and facilitate the speedy arrest and prosecution of perpetrators of such crimes for justice to prevail.
12.Lastly, we urge the prioritization of investments in inclusive processes for socio-economic development in addressing the root causes of instability in Mali. This can be achieved through interventions that create meaningful jobs for women and the youth, harness their potentials in the governance process including in decision making, conflict prevention and mediation efforts. The intervening role of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) in climate-related peace and development interventions as well as in the promotion of community-based dispute resolution mechanisms among others, remains paramount and should be encouraged.
Mr. President, 13.In concluding, the A3 believes that the expected peace dividends in Mali can be realised if all stakeholders comprising this Council, the African Union, EC