UN Mission backs constitutional referendum in Mali — Global Issues


“This is obviously an important time for the mission, coinciding with discussions on the renewal of its mandate, and also for Mali, which continues to face complex security and other forms of challenges,” Special Representative El-Ghassim Wane informed ambassadors.

The long-awaited ballot on Sunday notes the initial stage in the direction of governmental political elections following year complying with a successful stroke in May 2021. Citizens in the West African nation will certainly select whether to sustain a draft constitution.

MINUSMA was developed in the wake of a 2012 successful stroke and also armed disobedience in the north, causing the finalizing of a Peace Agreement in Algeria 3 years later on. Its required is up for revival at the end of the month.

Link to tranquility procedure

Mr. Wane claimed the mission and also the UN nation group have actually given assistance for the holding of the referendum, which was initially arranged for March.

They have actually delivered essential tools and also personnel, helped with the training for participants of the Independent Election Management Authority, and also distributed the draft constitution.

Consultations on the constitution were held in December 2021. “The discussions on the draft constitution have shown, as if it were needed, the close links between the transition process and the peace process,” he said.

Bridging differences

Addressing the Peace Agreement, he noted that while some signatory movements had stated that their interests were not adequately reflected in the draft constitution, others are “calling for a ‘yes’ vote in the referendum.”

MINUSMA and Algeria worked to help the sides overcome their differences and to understand the link between the draft constitution and the peace agreement.

“As a result of this exercise, it appears that nothing in the draft constitution runs counter to the implementation of the agreement, including the legislative and regulatory provisions relating to the institutional framework and to territorial reorganization,” he said.

Insecurity remains a challenge

Meanwhile, terrorist groups continue their deadly operations in some areas of Mali, affecting citizens, the security forces and UN peacekeepers. Five “blue helmets” have been killed since January, and 31 injured, in hostile acts.

Persistent insecurity is also having an impact on humanitarian activities in a country where nearly nine million people will require assistance this year.

As the end of its mandate approaches, Mr. Wane took stock of MINUSMA’s work over the past year, highlighting examples such as its support for the transition, “stabilizing presence” in urban areas and action to protect civilians.

“After almost 10 years in Mali, I would like to underscore that MINUSMA, like all other United Nations peacekeeping operations, is there to establish the right conditions for its exit from Mali in assisting Mali to ensure the security of its population and its territory, and to lay the foundations for lasting stability,” he said.

Request for withdrawal

Mali’s Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop also addressed the Council. He called for MINUSMA to withdraw from the country “without delay”, saying the Mission has not been able to adequately respond to the security situation.

“Realism suggests keeping in mind the failing of MINUSMA, whose required is no more as much as dealing with the safety and security obstacles in the nation,” he said.

Additionally, “MINUSMA appears to have actually come to be a component of the issue in fueling inter-community stress intensified by accusations of severe gravity which are exceptionally hazardous to tranquility, settlement, and also to nationwide communication,” he added.

“This scenario is resulting in skepticism amongst the Malian populace as well as likewise creating a dilemma of self-confidence in between Malian authorities and also MINUSMA.”

Speaking to press reporters after the conference, Mr. Wane was inquired about the Minister’s demand.

He claimed the UN Mission is mandated by the Security Council, and also “we stand to be guided by whatever decision the Council may take.”

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