26 March 2012
Security Council
SC/10592

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

6741st Meeting (AM)


Security Council, in Statement, Condemns ‘Forcible Seizure of Power’ from Mali

 

Government, Demands Troops Responsible Return Immediately to Barracks

 


Strongly condemning the forcible seizure of power from the democratically elected Government of Mali by some elements of the Malian armed forces — which late last week took control of the country and announced the dissolution of the Government — the Security Council today called for a return to constitutional order and the holding of previously scheduled elections.


In a statement read out by Mark Lyall Grant (United Kingdom), whose delegation holds the Council presidency for the month, the Council condemned “the acts initiated and carried out by mutinous troops against the democratically elected Government” and demanded that those troops immediately end all violence and return to their barracks.


The text echoed calls made in a press statement by the Council on 22 March, when word first began to spread that the Malian Government had been forced from power.  Following a closed-door briefing from Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe on the latest developments, the Council had condemned the ouster of the Government and called on the rebel soldiers to ensure the safety and security of Malian President Amadou Toumani Touré.  (See Press Release SC/10590)


Today’s statement also condemned attacks initiated and carried out by rebel groups against the Government forces, and called on the rebels to cease all violence and seek a peaceful solution through appropriate political dialogue.


The Council went on to express serious concern about the insecurity and rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in the wider Sahel region, which, Council members said, was further complicated by the presence of armed and terrorist groups and their activities, as well as a proliferation of weapons from inside and outside that region.  In light of all that, the Council called for national authorities and international, regional and subregional organizations “to take urgent steps to further their concerted efforts to address these challenges in an effective and appropriate manner”.


Noting that the 15-nation body had been closely following the humanitarian situation in the Sahel, the statement said that the Council had been informed that millions of people were suffering as a result of drought, food shortages and the return to the region of thousands of migrants, following the crisis in Libya and elsewhere.  Commending joint efforts made by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and other agencies to provide assistance and draw attention to the scale of the problems in the Sahel, the Council noted that it had been informed of the proposal to appoint a Senior Regional Humanitarian Coordinator.


Welcoming the relevant emergency programmes undertaken by national authorities and the efforts of regional actors, such as the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Council encouraged the wider international community to provide support to resolve the crisis in Mali and the Sahel regional “based on an integrated strategy for immediate and long-term needs, encompassing security, development and humanitarian needs”.


The meeting began at 10:40 a.m. and ended at 10:45 a.m.


Presidential Statement


The full text of the presidential statement S/PRST/2012/7 reads as follows:


“The Security Council is following closely the security and humanitarian situation in the Sahel region, and has received regular briefings on these issues.


“The Security Council expresses its serious concern about the insecurity and rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Sahel region, which is further complicated by the presence of armed groups and terrorist groups, and their activities, as well as by the proliferation of weapons from within and outside the region, that threaten peace, security and stability of regional States.  The Security Council calls for national authorities, and international, regional and subregional organizations, to take urgent steps to further their concerted efforts to address these challenges in an effective and appropriate manner.


“The Security Council strongly condemns the forcible seizure of power from the democratically elected Government of Mali by some elements of the Malian armed forces, and in this regard recalls its press statement of 22 March 2012.  The Security Council condemns the acts initiated and carried out by mutinous troops against the democratically elected Government and demands they cease all violence and return to their barracks.  The Security Council calls for the restoration of constitutional order and the holding of elections as previously scheduled.


“The Security Council condemns the attacks initiated and carried out by rebel groups against Malian Government forces and calls on the rebels to cease all violence and to seek a peaceful solution through appropriate political dialogue.


“The Security Council emphasizes the need to uphold and respect the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Mali.


“The Security Council expresses its concern over the fragile security and humanitarian situation in the region, and notes that it has been exacerbated by drought, food shortages and the return of thousands of returnees following the Libyan crisis and other crises in the region.


“The Security Council was also informed that millions of people in the Sahel region are suffering from that crisis, forcing thousands to migrate to less affected neighbouring countries.


“The Security Council commends the joint efforts made by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and other agencies of the United Nations to provide humanitarian assistance and to draw international attention to the scale of the problem in the Sahel region.  The Security Council was informed of the proposal to appoint a Senior Regional Humanitarian Coordinator.


“The Security Council welcomes the emergency programmes undertaken by the national authorities of the region as an expression of their primary responsibility.  The Security Council also welcomes the initiatives taken by regional and subregional organizations such as the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and efforts so far made by bilateral and multilateral partners to assist the Sahel countries to alleviate the regional food and nutrition crisis.  The Security Council encourages the international community to provide support to resolve the crisis in Mali and the Sahel region based on an integrated strategy for immediate and long term needs, encompassing security, development and humanitarian issues.”


* *** *


For information media • not an official record