Check Against Delivery
It is positive that the democratic process in Mali is making headway. The first round of parliamentary election are an important step. However, I also have to note: low voter turnout, the closing of many polling stations, in particular in the centre, threats and destruction of electoral materials and the abduction of the opposition leader Cissé cast a negative shadow over the first round.
It is positive that some tangible steps forward were finally made in the implementation of the peace process and that some existing blockages were overcome. The redeployment of the first units of the reconstituted Malian armed forces to the north of the country is an essential element in this respect. It is also positive that a high-level workshop on the participation of women in the peace process was held. There is a need to continue and accelerate these positive trends so that the benchmarks the Security Council set last year can be reached. A renewed effort of the government and the signatory parties alike is necessary to continue on the positive trajectory.
We are shocked and saddened by the killing of at least 20 members of the Malian security forces on Monday in the North of Mali. The attack again underlines the enormous challenges the Malian security forces face and that international support is of utmost importance to bring safety and security to Mali and the Sahel region.
The latest report of the Secretary-General underlines that the security situation continues to deteriorate.
Malian authorities are called upon to respond to this and protect civilians from violence. As the report also mentions human rights violations by Malian state actors, let me be clear: They must respect human rights when fighting terrorism and insurgencies.
Malian authorities are in the lead, and they can continue to count on international support.
Just one case in point: Concrete European Union support will be strengthened through the renewal of the EUTM Mandate (until May 2024). Assistance to the G5 Sahel Joint Task Force and G5 nations will be extended through military advice, training and mentoring.
In terms of MINUSMA’s support: we are convinced that the mission continues to provide critical political and integrated civil-military support for the stabilisation of Mali. We support efforts to make MINUSMA even more operational, including through the Force Adaptation plan.
However: there is a limit to what MINUSMA can do. Giving more and broader tasks to the mission will backfire if we do not ensure collectively that the mission has the right number and quality of personnel and resources. Efficiency gains go hand in hand with a realistic mandate scope – more with less is not feasible. We do also need complimentary efforts by Sahel countries, partner nations, organizations and other missions in the area.
We are concerned about the impact of the pandemic on the situation in Mali, including on the political process and potentially on the second round of legislative elections. Germany calls on MINUSMA and the UN secretariat to closely monitor the situation and keep the Security Council informed – if necessary also outside the usual reporting cycle.
On MINUSMA itself: Safety and security of all MINUSMA personnel is of utmost importance and we welcome procedures announced by the UN, which have to be followed and reviewed for their effectiveness. At the same time, the mission with all its civilian and uniformed parts needs to remain operational to implement the mandate.
In terms of deployment of German military and police contingents in MINUSMA: we maintain our deployments and follow all relevant regulations set by Malian authorities and the mission to ensure the safety and security of all concerned.