Remarks by the DPR Albana Dautllari, Deputy Permanent Representative of Albania to the UN, at the Security Council meeting on the situation in Mali – MINUSMA

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June 16, 2023

Thank you, Madam President,

I thank SRSG Wane for his informative briefing and honour the brave peacekeepers who have lost their lives in the line of duty, including most recently in Ber. We also welcome the presence of Foreign Minister Diop with us.

Albania commends the dedicated MINUSMA peacekeepers and personnel who operate in a very challenging environment.

Madam President,

The situation in Mali continues to deteriorate, with civilians bearing the brunt through increased violence, lack of protection, and a dire humanitarian situation.

Allow me to address three key areas of concern:

Firstly, the political transition is at a crucial phase. We hope that this weekend’s referendum is conducted in a peaceful manner and will take place all over the country, allowing those who wish to vote, to do so. At the same time, we stress the need for the political transition to be transparent and inclusive, considering concerns of all stakeholders and civil society.

Additionally, the implementation of the peace agreement remains instrumental to stabilising the North. We commend the International Mediation efforts to engage with the signatories, however, the Transitional Authorities and signatory groups must demonstrate commitment to cooperate and implement the agreement, while refraining from escalating tensions.

Secondly, the security situation poses increasing challenges. The escalating tensions between terrorist groups in Goa and Menaka regions threaten regional stability as these groups expand their presence, gain territorial control, and cause forced displacement. We condemn the violence against civilians and call for enhanced protection measures.

We are deeply concerned about the dramatic increase of human rights and international humanitarian law violations which have increased since the involvement of the Wagner Group. We call the Transitional Authorities to act on the OHCHR recommendations following the Moura atrocities. It is imperative that counter-terrorist operations comply with international obligations.

Thirdly, we commend MINUSMA for its efforts to implement its mandate and support the stabilisation of Mali. However, we remain deeply concerned at the restrictions placed on the mission’s freedom of movement, impeding the full implementation of the mandate and posing a significant risk to the safety and security of peacekeepers.

During the internal review, the Secretary-General’s outlined four parameters for the continued operation of MINUSMA – it is regrettable that progress on these fronts has been limited. MINUSMA has a crucial role to play in documenting human rights and international law violations, and the mission should not be hampered to carry out its assigned mandate.

In conclusion, Madam President, as Mali prepares to restore constitutional order by March 2024, several crucial tasks need to be addressed to ensure credible elections. The imposed restrictions on MINUSMA have posed significant barriers to the effective and safe operation of the mission, leaving this Council with critical decisions regarding the mandate’s renewal. It is important to emphasize that maintaining the status quo is neither viable nor desirable, as highlighted by the Secretary-General. Therefore, it is imperative that the Council takes action to navigate the evolving situation and steer Mali towards a stable and peaceful future.

Thank you.

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