Amid an unstable political and security situation in Mali, the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, or MINUSMA has worked for nearly a decade to maintain peace there.
In 2012, a Tuareg secessionist uprising was co-opted by violent extremist groups, who then imposed their draconian rule on several cities in northern Mali. With the aid of French troops, Mali was able to retake the cities in 2013.
To help stabilize Mali, the United Nations established MINUSMA in April 2013 and renewed its mandate every year after. Since 2015, the Mission has been tasked with supporting the full implementation of the Algiers Accord, a 2015 peace agreement between the Government of Mali and the Tuareg signatory armed groups.
On June 29, the UN Security Council again renewed MINUSMA’s mandate and urged Malian authorities to implement the Algiers Accord. Unfortunately, China and Russia abstained, complaining that the human rights language in the mandate encroached on Mali’s sovereignty.
“We regret that two Council members abstained and stood in the way of the Security Council’s unanimous adoption,” said Deputy U.S. Representative to the UN Richard Mills, noting that MINUSMA’s extension is crucial, since it gives the Malian authorities a chance to work with numerous partners towards a political transition.
“We believe it was important to vote for this renewal so that the Malian transition government has a renewed opportunity to work with MINUSMA to fully implement the Algiers Accord, hold free and fair elections, and protect civilians.”
Also at issue is the Malian government’s decision to curtail MINUSMA’s freedom of movement.
“Through this important vote, the Council has renewed MINUSMA’s critical mandate to monitor, investigate, and publicly report on the human rights situation in Mali and to protect civilians from further attacks. The resolution sends a clear message that MINUSMA’s freedom of movement must be respected in order for it to do its job.”
U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas Greenfield further noted, “since the Security Council first authorized MINUSMA in 2013, it has mandated the mission under Chapter VII of the UN Charter to investigate and report on allegations of human rights violations and abuses.”
“The United States remains fully committed to MINUSMA and the people of Mali.” “We urge the transition government to immediately and completely uphold its responsibility as a host country of a UN peacekeeping operation and uphold the terms of the [Status of Forces Agreement]” that the transition government is obligated to uphold.