US Welcomes New UN Resolution to End Turmoil in Mali

As humanitarian crisis continues to engulf Mali, the United States of America today welcomed the adoption by the UN Security Council of a resolution on the situation in Mali.

In his press statement in Washington DC, Acting Deputy Spokesperson Patrick Ventrell says the resolution, cosponsored by the US, supports a comprehensive approach to addressing the overlapping governance, security, and humanitarian crises affecting Mali.

According to Mr. Ventrell, the US government has worked collaboratively with its Security Council partners, the African Union, ECOWAS, and the European Union to ensure that this resolution provides a framework to address Mali’s primary challenges.

Syrian refugees in Lebanon living in cramped quarters (6 August 2012).
Tete Antonio, Permanent Observer of the African Union to the UN, speaks to correspondents following the Security Council’s meeting on the situation in Mali.

UN Photo

He cites the four challenges. One is restoration of democracy in Mali. The other challenger are finding a negotiated solution to the political grievances of northern groups that reject terrorism and accept Mali’s territorial integrity; restoration of Mali’s territorial integrity by reducing the threat posed by terrorist organizations including al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJWA) and associated extremist groups as well as disrupting international criminal networks; and responding to the ongoing humanitarian crisis.

“Yesterday’s resolution emphasizes a simultaneous political and military strategy to resolve Mali’s crises.” – Mr. Ventrell

Mr. Ventrell adds that the resolution authorizes deployment of an African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA) to assist Malian efforts to re-assert authority over their entire territory, including by contributions to rebuild the capacity of the Malian Defense and Security Forces.

US goal is to ensure that AFISMA is successful and that any offensive operation in northern Mali is maximally effective, he said.

Tuareg in Mali, 1974.

Mr. Ventrell states that the resolution emphasizes that military planning needs refinement before the commencement of the offensive operation and requests that the UN Secretary General confirm in advance the Council’s satisfaction with the planned military offensive.

In addition, the resolution condemns strongly the continued political interference by members of the Malian military with the civilian government as well as all abuses of human rights and calls for holding perpetrators accountable, Mr. Ventrell underlined.

“It also calls on the authorized force to support all efforts to bring to justice all perpetrators of serious human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law in Mali.” – Mr. Ventrell

He points out that while the US government ispleased with the progress made yesterday in the Security Council, the maintains that voluntary contributions are the only effective and appropriate mechanism for funding logistical support for this non-UN mission.

He reports that based upon the United Nations’ estimates, logistical support funded by voluntary contributions can be deployed faster and is likely to be significantly more cost effective than logistics funded through UN assessments.

“We must also ensure that any voluntary U.S. contributions to AFISMA are consistent with our own laws and regulations.” – Mr. Ventrell

The US is working with Congress for the necessary approvals to fund AFISMA’s operations.

Mr. Ventrell emphasized that tuccess in Mali is in US strategic interest, and in the interest of its allies and partners.

“We will work to ensure that Mali, the region, and the international community have the right approach and resources to succeed.” – Mr. Ventrell

In October this year, with its commitment to end instability in Mali, the United States of America has announced that it is embarking on a collaborative effort with Algeria to end the internal insecurity in the African country.

US and Algeria have agreed to continue with in-depth expert discussions, to work together bilaterally and with the region along with the United Nations, and the African Union, and ECOWAS to determine the most effective approaches that they should be taking.

The UN Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution which is considered as a comprehensive approach to the overlapping governance, security, and humanitarian crises affecting Mali.

Reports say the new resolution urges the African regional groups and the UN to present within 45 days a plan for military intervention in Mali.

The resolution cites that the 15-member Council called on Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to provide military to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU) to respond to the request from Mali’s transitional authorities for military intervention to oust the Islamists.

The United States of America underlined its support on the resolution on Mali adopted by the UN Security Council.

The resolution accomplishes a number of important objectives: it imposes targeted sanctions against AQIM individuals and entities in Mali, supports a negotiation process to seek a sustainable political solution with the North, provides support and assistance from the UN and member states to bolster planning efforts by ECOWAS and the African Union, and expresses the readiness of the Security Council to respond to the request from the Transitional authorities of Mali regarding a potential force to assist the Malian armed forces.

The violence in Mali has displaced nearly 500,000 people from their homes, and 4.5 million more are suffering from dwindling food supplies.

The United States has already provided more than $378 million to meet the escalating humanitarian needs in the Sahel.

What is happening inside Mali is augmented by the rising threat from violent extremism across the region.

For some time, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and other groups have launched attacks and kidnappings from northern Mali into neighboring countries.

The United States is also stepping up its counterterrorism efforts across the Maghreb and Sahel as well.

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.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.