- By its resolution 2364 (2017), the Security Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) until 30 June 2018 and requested me to report on a quarterly basis on its implementation, focusing on progress in taking forward the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali (see S/2015/364 and S/2015/364/Add.1) and the efforts of MINUSMA to support it. The present report contains updates with regard to major developments in Mali since my previous report (S/2018/273) and recommendations for the renewal of the mandate of MINUSMA, taking into account the findings and recommendations of the independent strategic review, led by Ellen Margrethe Løj, conducted in the first quarter of 2018.
II. Major political developments
During the period under review, the renewed momentum in the peace process brought about by the Prime Minister, Soumeylou Boubèye Maïga, and the recently established sanctions regime and the appointment of an independent observer, contributed to progress in the implementation of the Agreement. Discussi on continued on the appointments of interim authorities at the district and municipality levels, and the mixed units of the Operational Coordination Mechanism in Kidal and Timbuktu were established. The return of Malian armed forces to Kidal to join the mixed units is a significant step. Care must be taken to ensure that the momentum of the implementation of the road map is maintained throughout the campaigning period leading up to the presidential elections.
I was able to witness that progress during my visit to the country from 29 to 30 May. I was encouraged by the parties’ determination to work together to advance the implementation of the Agreement, under the leadership of the Prime Minister, ahead of the presidential elections in July. However, given the challenges facing the country, including the expansion of violent extremist and criminal groups, it is critical that the international community unite in support of Mali and address the crisis through a multidimensional, coordinated response at the appropriate scale, which should include supporting Mali in the reconstitution of its armed forces, promoting development and strengthening resilience, as well as ensuring the Joint Force of the Group of Five for the Sahel is provided with sufficient resource s to be an effective instrument in restoring stability in the Sahel.