The United States of America called for negotiated end to fighting in Mali where clashes between government forces and Tuaregs rebels have escalated for the past few months.
In a press statement issued by US Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki, underlines support for an urgent negotiated resolution to Kidal that will permit the return of civil administration so that presidential elections can be carried out in the entire Malian territory on July 28.
The US also expresses condemnation on the racially motivated acts of detention and expulsions in Kidal and call on all parties to respect human rights and fully comply with their obligations under international law.
“The United States is fully committed and providing financial assistance for the holding of free, transparent and credible elections throughout Mali.” – Ms. Psaki
She highligted that the return of peace in the African country is a vital part of restoring peace and stability in Mali and in the region and will set the stage for a broader process of national reconciliation in a unified Mali.
In addition, the US commends the leadership of ECOWAS mediator President Blaise Compaore, and the support of the United Nations, the African Union, and other regional and international partners in this effort.
Reports say serious human rights abuses were taking place in Mali, despite the presence of around 3,500 French troops.
The outbreak of conflict in northern Mali was caused by clashes between Government forces and Tuareg rebels.
Tuareg rebels launched a new rebellion in the north on 17th of January. Since then, troops have clashed with rebels in several northern towns.
Tuareg nomads are present throughout the Sahel region of Africa. Both Mali and Niger have battled Tuareg uprisings in the last decade.
The Sahel has regularly been afflicted by food insecurity as drought, poor harvests and rising food prices have left the region on the brink of a humanitarian crisis.
The Sahel belt of Africa stretches from Senegal to Eritrea.
US Responds to Evolving Crisis in Mali
US names the challenges Mali continues to face: al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb’s (AQIM) continued presence in northern Mali, the restoration of democracy, the need to begin negotiations with northern groups that renounce terrorism and recognize the unity of the Malian state, and a significant ongoing humanitarian crisis.
The evolving crisis in Mali is one of the most difficult, complex, and urgent problems West Africa has faced in decades.
US says Mali’s problems reflect the fragility of governance in the region, the lack of economic development especially in northern Mali where the absence of meaningful opportunities for people to engage with their governments, and the widespread desperation that exists in an unforgiving, arid region with chronic food insecurity.
Poor governance, weak democratic institutions, and a lack of development and economic opportunity create fertile ground for terrorism and instability.