Security Council establishes peacekeeping force for Mali effective 1 July, unanimously adopting resolution 2100 (2013)

Report
from UN Security Council
Published on 25 Apr 2013 View Original

SC/10987

Security Council
6952nd Meeting (AM)

United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission Will Have Up to 11,200 Troops, 1,440 Police, Take over for African-Led Mission (AFISMA)

The Security Council today unanimously approved the creation of a 12,600 member peacekeeping force in the West African nation of Mali, strongly condemning the January offensive by armed groups towards the south and stressing that terrorism could only be defeated by a sustained and comprehensive approach to isolate the terrorist threat.

Acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Council decided to establish the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) by 1 July 2013, and thereby transfer the functions of the African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA) — set up by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in September — to the new entity. The Secretary-General was requested to subsume the United Nations Office in Mali (UNOM) into its activities and to appoint a Special Representative for Mali and Head of Mission to assume overall authority for the coordination of United Nations activities.

By the terms of resolution 2100 (2013), MINUSMA would comprise up to 11,200 military personnel, including reserve battalions able to deploy rapidly within the country, as required, and 1,440 police personnel. The Council called on Member States to provide troops and police with adequate capabilities and equipment.

In terms of mandate, the Council authorized MINUSMA to use all necessary means, in support of the transitional authorities of Mali, to stabilize key population centres, especially in the north, deter threats and take active steps to prevent the return of armed elements to those areas. It would support Mali’s transitional authorities to extend and re-establish State administration throughout the country, and support both national and international efforts towards rebuilding the Malian security sector.

By other terms, French troops were authorized to use all necessary means to intervene in support of MINUSMA when under “imminent and serious threat” and upon the request of the Secretary-General, with the Council deciding to review that role within six months of its commencement.

The seven-part mandate also included responsibilities to support the implementation of Mali’s transitional road map — adopted in January to restore democracy and stability — as well as for the protection of civilians and United Nations personnel, and promotion and protection of human rights. In the area of national and international justice, MINUSMA would support the efforts of the transitional authorities to bring to justice those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Mali, taking into account their referral of the situation in Mali since January 2012 to the International Criminal Court.

Demanding that all rebel armed groups set aside their arms and cease hostilities immediately, the Council urged all such parties who had cut all ties with terrorist groups — such as Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MOJWA) and Ansar Eddine — and who recognized, without conditions, the unity and territorial integrity of the Malian State, to engage “expeditiously” in an inclusive negotiation process, facilitated by the Secretary-General and his Special Representative for Mali once appointed.

Further by the text, the Council urged transitional authorities to hold free, fair, transparent and inclusive presidential and legislative elections “as soon as technically possible”, welcoming the commitment to organize presidential elections on 7 July 2013 and legislative polls on 21 July 2013.

After adoption, the representative of the Russian Federation said he had voted in favour of the text, mindful of stepping up assistance to overcome a complex crisis in Mali. The main responsibility for resolving existing problems lay with Malians. The Mission’s tasks must aim exclusively at providing assistance. Following the Council’s approval of the intervention brigade for the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), today’s decision was “of alarm”, as what had once been considered an exception, was now a standing practice — one with unpredictable consequences for the safety of United Nations personnel and the Mission’s legal status.

He went on to say that the Secretary-General’s report underscored the need for a clear division between peacekeeping operations and peace enforcement activities, and that MINUSMA did not provide for offensive operations. In the resolution’s preamble, the unacceptability of such actions was reaffirmed. Blue helmets should not be used to arrest those accused of having carried out war crimes. It was clear that a military solution did not exist and that the Mission must be backed by tangible political processes.

Tiéman Hubert Coulibaly, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Mali, said today’s adoption was an important step in efforts to stem activities of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), the Mujahideen and other groups, as well as ensure peace and stability throughout the territory. The resolution would transfer functions from the African-Led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA) to the new United Nations Stabilization Mission.

For its part, Mali was fully prepared to welcome the Mission, which could stabilize main urban centres in the north, restore State authority, protect civilians, and promote and protect human rights and humanitarian assistance. Thanks to AFISMA, the Malian security forces and others, progress had been made in taking back main cities in the north and centre of the country. Small cells of armed rebels continued to threaten Mali’s stability and territorial integrity, as well as stability in the region. He welcomed the international commitment to deter the return of armed groups. Those groups must lay down their arms, cease hostilities, and recognize Mali’s territorial integrity.

He went on to stress that there could be no sustainable development without peace and stability, appealing for better coordination of the international response to Mali’s short-, medium- and long-term needs, especially in the areas of security, governance and humanitarian action. He hoped that the International Conference of Donors, on 15 May, would help achieve results, urging international and regional organizations to join the “wave of solidarity”.

For its part, the transitional Government was implementing the road map by taking steps for the holding of fair, free, transparent elections and the start of an inter-Malian dialogue, he said, which included the creation of a Dialogue and Reconciliation Commission comprised of 30 commissioners representing the country’s diversity. He reiterated the pledge to cooperate with the Council and play its role in the implementation of the resolution, thanking France, in particular, for helping Mali end the terrorist offensive, as well as ECOWAS, the European Union, the United Nations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and all bilateral and multilateral partners, and neighbouring countries for their help in dealing with the crisis.

Tété António, Permanent Observer for the African Union, spoke on behalf of Pierre Buyoya, African Union High Representative for Mali and the Sahel Region, recalling that the African Union and ECOWAS had been focused on the crisis in Mali from the start. Efforts now would focus on assisting Malian authorities in restoring its national unity, territorial integrity and constitutional order in a peaceful climate marked by national reconciliation.

To do that, the two organizations had outlined a strategy, he said, comprised of a political process and, if necessary, military action. The dialogue process was based on the belief that every possible peaceful way must be used before resorting to military action. It was incumbent on the African Union to take steps for possible military intervention. The attack on Konna in January provided a reason to support such an approach, as it undermined dialogue efforts ongoing with some armed groups. As such, it was normal to back an initiative for transforming AFISMA into a United Nations mission. He was pleased that some of his concerns regarding the draft version had been taken into account in the final version.

Against that backdrop, he urged that the central political roles of the African Union and ECOWAS be recognized in their cooperation with the United Nations Mission. They would keep a strong presence in Bamako. In addition, he hoped that consultations — which had been a hallmark of all joint actions taken thus far — would continue, inter alia, in taking major decisions, the selection of military and civilian leaders, and in the coordination between MINUSMA, French forces and the Malian army through the appointment of liaison officers. The transformation of AFISMA was an example of the partnership between the African Union and the United Nations, which he hoped would lead to a lasting solution to the crisis Mali.

The meeting began at 10:13 a.m. and adjourned at 10:33 a.m.