Terrorism, violent extremism and instability were a constant threat to the region and now, “a note of grief and tragedy has been added to the arrival of the Kovid-1 pandemic epidemic.”
The Prime Minister was speaking on the 5th day of the General Assembly High Level Week. After being practically held last year due to the coronavirus epidemic, this year’s gathering includes “hybrid” activities that involve leaders in person with virtual participants.
The threat of terrorism
Mr June Maga, who has led the transitional government since June 11, said the Malian people “had all their hopes in the process of their political return”.
Since March 2012, when the country was overthrown, he said, “the situation has rarely improved, despite international support and the presence of UN peacekeepers, Minusma and other international forces.”
“The situation has continued to deteriorate, so far that entire parts of the national territory are out of the control of the government. Citizens including me are under the control of terrorists and armed groups and deprived of their basic rights. Their access to basic services has remained imaginary due to the weak presence of the state.
Respecting “all women and men working under the banner of MINUSMA, who are officially known as the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stability Mission in Mali, in difficult situations, often dangerous”, he argued that the mission should continue to evolve.
“We must have the courage and clarity to question the instruments and processes mentioned above. We must also put on the table a demand for a stronger mandate and a change in Minusma’s attitude,” he said.
Changes to MINUSMA
Mr. Maga said that since the creation of Minusma, in 2013, the terrorist threat has “continued to decline.”
He then hinted at the departure of French troops, which was part of Operation Barkhan.
“The unilateral announcement of Barkhan’s withdrawal and its transformation ignore the connection that binds us, the United Nations, Mali and France, at the forefront of the fight against the causes of instability,” he said.
He added that the “new situation” prompted his government to “independently or with other partners seek ways and means to ensure security, in order to fill the gaps inevitably created.”
For him, the situation “should also persuade the UN to take a more aggressive stance on the field now.”
“The United Nations must help Mali to fight internationally organized crime more effectively in order to establish real conditions for guaranteeing its stability, political, humanitarian, development and protection of human rights.”
According to the Prime Minister, another priority of his government is the organization of elections.
He argued that in order to restore constitutional order in the country, verification and selection should be “transparent, credible and inclusive”.
“These choices are especially important because they will be the barometer of the success of the transition. We know that their quality and credibility will determine the future of our democracy, the legitimacy and integrity of our organization.
Read the full statement in French.