United Nations (AP) —Mali’s interim government’s top priority is to hold free and fair elections by the end of the 18-month transition period after the military coup last August, which defeated President Ibrahim Bubakar Keita. That’s what the United Nations ambassador to the United Nations said. Tuesday.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield strongly encouraged the Mali authorities to “issue a final timeline to date the election process,” and voted “a competent and impartial election using a transparent process.” “It must be done by the authorities,” he said. She urged authorities to use UN peacekeeping operations in Mali’s “election support capacity.”
Thomas Greenfield told the UN Security Council that the January dissolution of the junta that carried out the coup was “an important step towards a peaceful and democratic transition.”
Mali has been in turmoil since the 2012 riots caused rebellious soldiers to overthrow the 10-year president. The power vacuum created eventually led to the Islamic rebellion and the French-led war, expelling the Jihadists from power in 2013. In 2015, a peace agreement was signed by a coalition of three political parties, a government and a group seeking autonomy in the north. Mali, and the pro-government militia.
However, rebels continue to operate in the region, and West African countries are under threat from al-Qaeda and many extremist groups belonging to Islamic State organizations. Since 2015, militants have moved from the dry north to the more populous Central Mali, agitating hostility and violence among ethnic groups in the region.
Thomas Greenfield urged the interim government to step up its efforts “to make concrete and significant progress” in the implementation of the 2015 Peace Accords. She repeatedly appealed to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres not to resume the agreement, saying it “prevents implementation.”
Many council ambassadors welcomed the first meeting of the Commission overseeing peace agreements in northern and southern Mali as an important step in advancing the implementation of the agreement.
United Nations peacekeeper Jean-Pierre Lacroix said last week that an attack on a peacekeeping base in the Kidal region of northern Mali killed four peacekeepers and injured at least 34, according to the state. He said it reminds us of the challenges facing the large Sahel region.
According to Lacroix, the battle also demonstrated the courage and determination of Chad’s peacekeepers, whose “heroic defense” caused serious casualties to attackers. At least 23 attackers were reported killed.
Lacroix reiterated Guterres’s call to “expand and strengthen the response of the international community to the problems of terrorism and violent extremism in the Sahel region.” In addition to threats from militia groups, Mr Lacroix said he was concerned “about the ongoing destabilization of militias operating along the ethnic groups in central Mali.”
Seven months after the transition, Mali officials “started the functioning of the main institutions of the transition” and began implementing the reform agenda, he said.
“It is important to urgently accelerate the pace of these reforms, while ensuring that the maximum number of stakeholders participate in the process,” Lacroix said.
“Sustainable improvement in Mali’s security situation is not a little based on the success of the current political transition,” he said.