27 January 2023
Thank you, President,
I would like to thank SRSG Wane for his briefing today and commend the important work carried out by MINUSMA’s personnel and peacekeepers who operate in very difficult conditions. I also extend my thanks to Ms. Dicko for her frank assessment and welcome Minister Diop to this meeting.
The political and security situation in Mali has faced significant challenges and setbacks. The socio-economic crisis has deepened, humanitarian needs have risen, civic space is shrinking and the number internal displaced persons continues to increase where women and children are most affected.
We welcome the release of the Ivorian soldiers by the Malian authorities and the diplomatic efforts of ECOWAS, UN and other actors. As mentioned by the civil society representatives, this is important to improve regional relations.
The implementation of the Algiers accord and the coordination with relevant actors is key. In this regard, the implementation of the electoral calendar, within the agreed timelines with ECOWAS, must be a priority to facilitate a democratic transition. We urge the Malian authorities to focus their efforts on advancing outstanding legislative matters and the constitutional process, including establishing a single legislative management body.
We welcome the support provided by MINUSMA in this regard.
The growing violent extremist and terrorist threat is alarming. We are concerned that the changing security architecture in Mali, if not properly addressed, has the potential to create security vacuums, that can destabilize the country and the region.
In this regard, we fear that the presence of the Wagner Group poses a significant threat to the safety of peacekeepers and civilians. As highlighted by the Secretary-General, MINUSMA has documented serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law during military operations with the involvement of foreign security personnel belonging to Wagner.
We condemn these acts and urge the Malian authorities to reassess their partnership and release the findings of ongoing investigations.
Furthermore, we regret the signatory movements’ decision to suspend their participation in the Agreement Monitoring Committee and stress the importance of the peace agreement to stabilise the situation.
We call for enhanced engagement and coordination among relevant stakeholders to implement the agreement and achieve long-term peace in Mali.
We are also deeply concerned about the persistent restrictions MINUSMA continues to face, including ground and air movements, and the denial of flight requests, especially in areas where counter-terrorism operations are conducted.
The review clearly states that the mission cannot continue with the status quo.
The Malian authorities must work with MINUSMA and allow the mission to operate safely and freely, without obstacles, as mandated, including in its human rights monitoring.
Albania welcomes the Secretary-General’s detailed internal review of MINUSMA, which we consider to be a very good basis to begin our discussions on the future of the mission.
We commend the work of the UN in preparing the review, in extensive consultations with the Malian authorities, as mentioned by the SRSG, which is essential considering the importance of MINUSMA’s presence in Mali and the need to strengthen the mission to better deliver its mandate.
In conclusion, we look forward to engaging with Council members and relevant stakeholders in the coming months to ensure the best course of action for MINUSMA and the people of Mali,