The Special Representative of the UN's Secretary-General for Mali, El-Ghassim Wane has reiterated the need for the extension of the mandate of United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali better known as MINIUSMA, for another year.
Briefing the Security Council on Monday, Wane said that the security situation in Mali remains volatile and is of particular concern along the tri-border area and in the Centre.
Though the challenges in the country are numerous and complex, they are far from being insurmountable; he added.
“While there has been undeniable improvement in some areas and a concomitant weakening of the extremist groups, the latter still continues to conduct frequent attacks against Malian and MINUSMA forces as well as civilian populations suspected of collaborating with Malian forces." Wane told the UN briefing.
The Special Representative honored the memory of all the peacekeepers who have lost their lives since the inception of the Mission. Their ultimate sacrifice illustrates the challenges and complexities we face and further underscores the need to ensure that the Mission has the requisite capabilities, including armed and utility helicopters, he added.
According to the Special Representative, from January to March 2022, there was a sharp increase in human rights abuses compared to the previous quarter, resulting in the killing of 543 people as opposed to 128 from October to December last year.
The list of presumed perpetrators of human rights abuses continues to be led by extremist groups but has unfortunately seen a significant rise in violations associated with operations by Malian security forces in central Mali, said El-Ghassim Wane.
Present at the meeting, Mali's Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Abdoulaye Diop reiterated the ambition of his country to work for the return of peace.
"The Malian party, therefore, remains determined to play its part in the return of peace and security throughout the national territory by using various tools: political, security, socio-economic development, justice, and reconciliation. However, realizing these ambitious projects requires a lucid, pragmatic, realistic, and holistic reading of the situation, but also understanding, your understanding, and your support.”
The prevailing security environment in Mali has compounded the humanitarian situation in the country. In 2022, 7.5 million persons will require humanitarian assistance, compared to 5.9 million in 2021 according to the UN.
The total number of internally displaced persons currently stands at 370,000, and more than 1.8 million people will be in immediate need of food assistance by August, the highest level recorded since 2014.