General Assembly Security Council

UNSC Open Briefing & Consultations on MINUSMA (Mali)



Statement by Ambassador T.S. Tirumurti

Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations


6 April 2021


Thank you Mr. President.


I would like to begin by thanking USG Jean Pierre Lacroix for his briefing on the political and security situation in Mali and the activities of MINUSMA.  I would like to take this opportunity to also thank Mr. Mahamat Saleh Annadif, the outgoing SRSG and the Head of MINUMSA, for his outstanding leadership over the past five years. I welcome the presence of HE Ambassador of Mali Issa Konfourou in our midst.


2. At the outset, allow me to express our deepest condolences to the families of the deceased in the attack on the MINUSMA camp in Aguelhok in the Kidal region recently on April 2. While strongly condemning the attack, we express our solidarity with the Government and people of Chad, whose 4 peacekeepers lost their lives and we also wish speedy recovery of those injured.


3. The security situation in Mali, particularly in Central and Northern Mali remains a matter of concern. In the last three months, MINUSMA has lost ten peacekeepers to attacks by terrorist groups in Mali. The latest attack on MINUSMA camp reflects the gravity of the situation. But for the valiant efforts of the peacekeepers, the casualties could have been much more. The Malian Security Forces have also lost several soldiers in the recent months to targeted attacks by militants in Central and Northern Mali. We strongly condemn attacks against peacekeepers and Malian Security Forces and express our solidarity with the Government of Mali and those Troop Contributing Countries who lost their peacekeepers in these attacks.


4. The upsurge in violence by terrorist groups in Mali is of serious concern. Terrorist groups such as Jama’a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin’ (JNIM) and the Islamic State in Greater Sahara (ISGS) are growing in strength, evident from the increasing number of attacks. Given the spread of terrorist groups in the Sahel region, we reiterate the need for more robust support from the Council and from the international community to the Joint Force of the Group of Five for the Sahel (FC-G5S).


5. The Council also needs to be cognizant of the fact that MINUSMA has been seriously affected by IED attacks in recent years. Since 2018, MINUSMA has lost more than 20 peacekeepers to IED attacks. We hope DPO will continue taking measures to mitigate IED threats faced by the Mission by providing dedicated resources and upgrading the security infrastructure of camps. India has always advocated for more proactive measures to protect the protectors.


6. MINUSMA is playing an important role in stabilizing the security situation in Mali through its political and military support to the peace process, along with its confidence-building measures. We applaud the efforts of MINUSMA peacekeepers, who are functioning under complex and challenging circumstances.


7. There is an urgent need for a comprehensive approach to address the security challenges arising out of these increasing asymmetric attacks. While the implementation of the 2015 Peace Agreement remains fundamental to peace and participatory governance in the northern region, the transitional authorities in Mali need to take urgent measures to redeploy and expand State administration, police and social services in both central and northern parts of the country.  In this context, we welcome the 5th meeting of the Agreement Monitoring Committee held in Kidal on 11 February and compliment the Malian Government and other stakeholders for this initiative of significant value to the peace process.  The attack on MINUSMA should not deter stakeholders from continuing their engagement. We hope the signatory parties will continue to work closely to advance the peace process. The operationalization of the reconstituted battalion of the army deployed in Kidal and transformation of Joint Security Commission into territorial police needs to be expedited. There has been positive progress in redeployment of former combatants into the Malian Defence and Security Forces. These measures need to be continued in the coming months.


8. The political transition in Mali has witnessed forward movement. The Transitional National Council has approved the Action Plan. The six priority areas outlined in the Action Plan need legislative and institutional measures, particularly uniform electoral code and independent electoral body and creation of a Senate. We also take note of steps being taken towards holding a constitutional referendum, and convening local and general elections. With less than one year left of the transition, it is important that efforts are oriented towards reforms that will facilitate timely elections and pave the way for an elected government which can deal with long-term reforms.


9. The transitional Government must continue engaging the political parties on the transition process to ensure that the process is inclusive, particularly the full participation of women and youth. The dialogue with labor unions is another important step that will help address the socio-economic issues. We hope these measures will contribute positively to the process of redeployment of state institutions in central and northern Mali.


10. We support the mediation role of ECOWAS and AU towards the restoration of constitutional order. The SRSG should continue to work closely with ECOWAS and AU in extending all possible assistance to the Transitional Government during the transition period.


11. We have taken note of SG’s roadmap on MINUSMA’s mandate implementation and a phased transition plan. We welcome the evaluation of Formed Police Units of MINUSMA. We look forward to the implementation of Integrated Performance Policy Framework to systematically assess all Mission components equally and not just Formed Police Units.


12. What Mali needs today is the continuing support of the international community to overcome the multifaceted crisis. While India has been supporting Mali through development cooperation, more recently, we have facilitated supply of 396,000 COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX facility to help Mali fight the COVID19 pandemic.


13. Mr. President, I would like to reiterate India’s commitment to support Mali to overcome the present political and security crisis.


I thank you, Mr. President.