Mali reports progress in the political transition process, fighting terrorism
Authorities in Mali are moving forwards with plans to transition political and institutional power back to civilian authority while combating terrorism and other social difficulties, Acting Prime Minister Abdoulaye Maïga said in his speech to the UN General Assembly on Saturday.
Transitioning to civilian rule after the Military coup in 2020 will conclude in 2024 when power will be transitioned to elected authorities.
“I'm pleased to underline that some significant progress has already been made,” he said, referring to the passing of the electoral law, the establishment of an election management authority and the creation of a commission to draw up a new Constitution.
The Fight Against Terrorism
In regard to the question of security, Mr Maïga stated that Mali is the only country on the planet that simultaneously has to fight against terrorism, inter-communal conflict and violent acts committed by isolated individuals.
“Alongside our return to constitutional order, Mali is continuing to fight tirelessly against this insecurity and particularly against extremist groups who are responsible for all kinds of abuse against our peaceful people,” he stated.
He warned that although terrorist groups have “significantly weakened” they can still cause harm, in their desperate attempts to harm the country's territorial integrity
Strategical actions for Stabilizations
Efforts to recruit, train, equip and increase national security forces have been stepped up.
A “global integrated strategy” that includes the provision of social services has been devised, while another stabilization strategy for the volatile central region was also recently approved.
The prime minister also provided an update on the peace deals to end unrest in the northern part of the country, further plans to stabilize the also volatile central regions have also been made.
Following recent meetings, there was a “strong signal” that the parties want to commit to a dynamic new process to achieve its implementation, he reported.
A potential 'Paradigm shift' for the UN's mission
The prime minister also addressed the UN mission in Mali known as MINUSMA, its mandates includes ensuring security, protecting civilians, supporting political dialogue and the re-establishment of civilian authority.
He said despite nearly 10 years of commitment and numerous security council resolutions, the objectives are still yet to be achieved.
He stated that “This is why the Government of Mali reiterates its demand, expressed on numerous occasions, for a paradigm shift and an adaptation of MINUSMA to the environment in which it is deployed, and a better interlinking between this mission and the Malian authorities,”.
He also criticized French authorities for pulling out their anti-terrorism forces from Mali last year stating “my country was stabbed in the back”.
He also accused the “French junta” of violating Malian airspace “by sending aircraft such as drones, military helicopters and fighter planes over 50 times, bringing information, weapons and ammunition to terrorist groups.”
Detention of Ivoirian soldiers
At the start of his speech, the prime minister heavily criticized the international response to the arrest of 49 soldiers entering Mali in July from the neighbouring Ivory Coast.
The team was part of logistical support operations at MINUSMA, according to Ivorian authorities. According to Mali authorities, the troops arrived without permission and hence are considered mercenaries, three have since been released.
“Clearly the judicial nature of the infringements around this affair does not fall under the competencies of the Secretary-General of the United Nations,” he said.
His statement also included criticism against the head of the West African bloc ECOWAS, President Umaro Sissoco Embalo of Guinea-Bissau, and the President of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum.
“We ask those who are refuting our version to ask if they would accept the military troops having hidden their identities by saying on their passports that they were painters or builders, would arrive with weapons in their airport without the country of destination having been informed in advance, with the idea of destabilizing the country,”
UN News. (2022). Mali reports progress in political transition process, fighting terrorism. [online] Available at: https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/09/1127861.
UN News. (2016). MINUSMA. [online] Available at: https://minusma.unmissions.org/en.
UN News. (2022). Mali: Security situation deteriorates, human rights concerns rise. [online] Available at: https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/08/1124692.
BBC News. (2022). Why are French troops leaving Mali, and what will it mean for the region?[online] 26 Apr. Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-60419799.