Foreign Minister Welcomes Passage, as Some Speakers Question Text’s ‘Ambiguous Language’, Role of MINUSMA in Fighting Terrorists
The Security Council today authorized the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) to adopt a more “proactive and robust posture”, including when protecting civilians against asymmetric threats, while increasing its troop levels and extending its mandate for a year.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2295 (2016) under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the 15-member Council authorized the Mission to use “all necessary means” to carry out its mandate within its capabilities and areas of deployment. Extending that mandate until 30 June 2017, it further decided to increase MINUSMA’s force levels to a ceiling of 13,289 military troops and 1,920 police personnel.
The Council also authorized French forces in Mali, within the limits of their capacities and areas of deployment, to use all necessary means to intervene in support of the Mission when under imminent and serious threat, until the end of MINUSMA’s mandate.
Also by the text, the Council expressed serious concern about the Mission’s lack of key capabilities, and stressed the need to strengthen its ability to fulfil its mandate in a complex security environment containing asymmetric threats. It emphasized the importance for MINUSMA of ensuring the most effective use and disposition of its troops and capabilities, in accordance with the priorities of its mandate.
In that regard, the Council decided that MINUSMA’s strategic priority would be to support the parties to the Mali conflict in implementing the 2015 peace agreement. The Mission’s other priority tasks would include good offices and reconciliation; protection of civilians, including against asymmetric threats, and stabilization; countering asymmetric threats in active defence of its mandate; protection, safety and security of United Nations personnel; promotion and protection of human rights; and humanitarian assistance.
Noting that slow progress in implementing the peace agreement was hampering efforts to restore security in the north of the country, the Council urged the Government of Mali, as well as the Plateform and Coordination armed groups, to continue to engage constructively, with sustained political will and in good faith so as to accelerate the agreement’s implementation. It also urged the Government, as well as the Plateform and Coordination armed groups, to continue to uphold the ceasefire agreement of 23 May 2014, the arrangement for the cessation of hostilities of 5 June 2015, and the cessation-of-hostilities declarations of 24 June 2014 and 19 February 2015.
The Council strongly condemned the activities of terrorist organizations in Mali and the wider Sahel region, as well as their attacks against MINUSMA peacekeepers, the Malian defence and security forces and other stakeholders. It further expressed its readiness to consider targeted sanctions against those who took actions to obstruct or threatened implementation of the peace agreement, resumed hostilities, or attacked or threatened the Mission or other international presences.
A number of speakers welcomed the resolution’s adoption, noting that by strengthening MINUSMA, the Council was fully shouldering its responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.
In that vein, the representative of France, Council President for June, pointed out that the resolution allowed MINUSMA to adapt to the “exceptional environment” in which it was operating. Speaking in his national capacity, he said that by adding some 2,500 troops to its force levels, the resolution gave the Mission the most robust mandate possible, allowing it to counter asymmetric threats.
The representative of the United States echoed that point, noting that MINSUMA’s troops were increasingly called upon to respond to asymmetric threats, which required more prompt and agile responses, as well as clarity on the Council’s part. Indeed, the Mission must be able to anticipate, counter and deter asymmetric and other threats in order to protect civilians, he emphasized.
However, other speakers disagreed, with the Russian Federation’s representative saying that some delegations had tried to push ambiguous language, and vague references to “asymmetric threats”, that might justify the use of force. MINUSMA must act in accordance with the principles of peacekeeping, he stressed, adding that the use of force should be based on a serious assessment of threats.
Uruguay’s representative underlined that, while his delegation recognized the need to adapt to asymmetric threats, it was not appropriate for peacekeeping missions to participate in military operations to confront terrorism. The firmer, more proactive posture authorized by the resolution should not lead MINUSMA to take preventive actions or attacks against terrorists, he warned, saying that would change the nature of what a peacekeeping mission should be.
Abdoulaye Diop, Mali’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and African Integration, said that his country’s expectations centred on a more robust posture for MINUSMA, strengthening its capabilities and greater support for Mali’s Armed Forces. The Government had also requested more support for regional counter-terrorism initiatives, including those of the Group of Five for the Sahel, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union. The resolution incorporated those expectations and included new features to support all efforts to stabilize Mali, he noted, adding that the strengthened and more robust mandate sent a strong signal to all enemies of peace.
Also speaking were representatives of Egypt, Senegal, Japan, New Zealand, Spain and the United Kingdom.
The meeting began at 10:15 a.m. and ended at 10:58 a.m.
The full text of resolution 2295 (2016) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Recalling its previous resolutions, in particular 2227 (2015) and 2100 (2013), its Presidential Statement of 6 February 2015 (S/PRST/2015/5), and its press statements, including of 12 January 2016, concerning the situation in Mali,
“Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Mali, emphasizing that the Malian authorities have primary responsibility for the provision of stability and security throughout the territory of Mali, and underscoring the importance of achieving national ownership of peace- and security-related initiatives,
“Reaffirming the basic principles of peacekeeping, including consent of the parties, impartiality, and non-use of force, except in self-defence and defence of the mandate, and recognizing that the mandate of each peacekeeping mission is specific to the need and situation of the country concerned, and also recalling its Presidential Statement of 25 of November 2015 (S/PRST/2015/22),
“Recognizing the legitimate aspiration of all Malian citizens to enjoy lasting peace and development,
“Recognizing that the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali (« the Agreement ») signed in 2015 by the Government of Mali, the Plateforme coalition of armed groups, and the Coordination des Mouvements de l’Azawad coalition of armed groups, represents a historic opportunity to achieve lasting peace in Mali,
“Considering the Agreement as balanced and comprehensive, aiming to address the political, institutional, governance, security, development and reconciliation dimensions of the crisis in Mali, respecting the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of the Malian State,
“Underscoring that the responsibility for the full and effective implementation of the Agreement, which has to be Malian-led and Malian-owned, rests with the Government of Mali, the Plateforme and Coordination armed groups, and is crucial to contribute to lasting peace in Mali, drawing lessons from previous peace agreements,
“Welcoming the positive steps taken by the Government of Mali, the Plateforme and Coordination armed groups to implement the Agreement while expressing serious concern at the continued delays in its implementation, and also welcoming the respect of the ceasefire since August 2015 as an important and concrete goodwill gesture of the Malian parties,
“Welcoming the signing by the Government of Mali, the Plateforme and Coordination armed groups on 19 June 2016 of the Entente on the interim authorities and other related arrangements, as well as the decision of the President of Mali, Mr Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, on 15 June 2016 to appoint Mr. Mahamadou Diagouraga as his High Representative to on the implementation of the Agreement,
“Welcoming the adoption by the Government of Mali, in January 2016, of Mali’s second National Action Plan for the implementation of the Security Council resolution 1325 (2000), and further welcoming in this regard the adoption by the Government of Mali, in December 2015, of a law requiring a 30 per cent quota for women in national institutions,
“Affirming its intention to facilitate, support and follow closely the implementation of the Agreement, and commending the role played by Algeria and other members of the international mediation team to assist the Malian parties to implement the Agreement,
“Welcoming the announcement by the Government of Mali on 12 April 2016 of the holding of communal elections on 25 September 2016, a constitutional referendum in November 2016, during which the establishment of a Senate would be proposed, and regional elections in the first semester of 2017, and calling for these processes to be inclusive,
“Expressing concern about the volatile security situation, especially the recent expansion of terrorist and other criminal activities into central and southern Mali as well as the intensification of intercommunal violence in the Centre of Mali,
“Noting that the slow progress in the implementation of the Agreement, particularly its defence and security provisions, as well as the delayed restructuring of the security sector, have hampered efforts to restore security in the North of Mali, and stressing the primary responsibility of the Government of Mali, the Plateforme and Coordination armed groups to accelerate the implementation of the Agreement in order to improve the security situation across Mali and to forestall attempts by terrorist groups to derail the implementation of the Agreement,
“Strongly condemning the activities in Mali and in the Sahel region of
terrorist organisations, including Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Al Mourabitoune, Ansar Eddine, and their affiliates such as the Front de Libération du Macina (FLM), which continue to operate in Mali and constitute a threat to peace and security in the region and beyond, and human rights abuses and violence against civilians, notably women and children, committed in Mali and in the region by terrorist groups,
“Condemning the attacks against MINUSMA, the Malian Defence and Security Forces, EUTM Mali and the French forces, that continue to be perpetrated by terrorist groups,
“Stressing that terrorism can only be defeated by a sustained and comprehensive approach involving the active participation and collaboration of all States, and regional and international organisations to impede, impair, and isolate the terrorist threat, and reaffirming that terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality or civilization,
“Recalling the listing of MUJAO, the Organisation of Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, Ansar Eddine and its leader Iyad Ag Ghali, and Al Mourabitoune on the Al-Qaida sanctions list established by the 1267/1989/2253 ISIL (Da’esh) and Al‑Qaida Sanctions Committee and reiterating its readiness, under the above-mentioned regime, to sanction further individuals, groups, undertakings and entities who are associated with Al-Qaida and other listed entities and individuals, including AQIM, Al Mourabitoune and Ansar Eddine, in accordance with the established listing criteria,
“Welcoming the continued action by the French forces, at the request and in support of the Malian authorities, to deter the terrorist threat in the North of Mali,
“Emphasizing that security and stability in Mali are inextricably linked to that of the Sahel and West Africa regions, as well as the situation in Libya and in the North Africa region,
“Expressing its continued concern over the transnational dimension of the terrorist threat in the Sahel region, as well as the serious challenges posed by transnational organized crime in the Sahel region, including arms and drug trafficking, the smuggling of migrants, human trafficking, and its increasing links, in some cases, with terrorism, underscoring the responsibility of the countries in the region in addressing these threats and challenges, welcoming in this context the efforts of the Group of Five for the Sahel (G5), including the establishment of a framework to strengthen regional security cooperation as well as to conduct cross-border joint military operations, and the African Union Nouakchott process, also welcoming the decision of the defence ministers of the States of the Sahel and Sahara on 24-25 March 2016 to intensify their regional cooperation to combat terrorism and to establish a new counterterrorist centre with its headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, and welcoming the efforts of the French forces to support G5 Member States to increase regional counter-terrorism cooperation,
“Strongly condemning the incidents of kidnapping and hostage-taking with the aim of raising funds or gaining political concessions, reiterating its determination to prevent kidnapping and hostage-taking in the Sahel region, in accordance with applicable international law, recalling its resolutions 2133 (2014) and 2253 (2015) and including its call upon all Member States to prevent terrorists from benefitting directly or indirectly from the payment of ransoms or from political concessions and to secure the safe release of hostages and, in this regard, and noting the publication of the Global Counterterrorism Forum’s (GCTF) “Algiers Memorandum on Good Practices on Preventing and Denying the Benefits of Kidnapping for Ransom by Terrorists”,
“Strongly condemning all abuses and violations of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, including those involving extrajudicial and summary executions, arbitrary arrests and detentions and ill-treatment of prisoners, sexual and gender-based violence, as well as killing, maiming, recruitment and use of children, attacks against schools and hospitals, calling on all parties to respect the civilian character of schools as such in accordance with international humanitarian law and to cease unlawful and arbitrary detention of all children, and calling upon all parties to bring an end to such violations and abuses and to comply with their obligations under applicable international law,
“Reiterating, in this regard, that all perpetrators of such acts must be held accountable and that some of such acts referred to in the paragraph above may amount to crimes under the Rome Statute, taking note that, acting upon the referral of the transitional authorities of Mali dated 13 July 2012, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) opened, on 16 January 2013, an investigation into alleged crimes committed on the territory of Mali since January 2012, and, in this regard, further taking note of the opening by the ICC on 1 March 2016 of the confirmation of charges hearing in the first trial at the ICC for the alleged war crime of intentionally directing attacks against religious and historical monuments in Timbuktu, and recalling the importance of assistance and cooperation, by all parties concerned, with the Court,
“Underscoring that Malian civilian control and oversight as well as further consolidation of the Malian Defence and Security Forces are important to ensure Mali’s long-term security and stability and to protect the people of Mali,
“Commending the role of the European Union Training Mission (EUTM Mali) in Mali in providing training and advice for the Malian Defence and Security Forces, including contributing to the strengthening of civilian authority and respect for human rights, and of the European Union Capacity Building Mission (EUCAP Sahel Mali) in providing strategic advice and training for the Police, Gendarmerie and Garde nationale in Mali,
“Emphasizing the need for all parties to uphold and respect the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence in order to ensure the continued provision of humanitarian assistance, the safety and protection of civilians receiving assistance and the security of humanitarian personnel operating in Mali, and stressing the importance of humanitarian assistance being delivered on the basis of need,
“Remaining seriously concerned over the significant ongoing food and humanitarian crisis in Mali, and over the insecurity which hinders humanitarian access, exacerbated by the presence of armed groups, terrorist and criminal networks, and their activities, the presence of landmines as well as the continued illicit proliferation of weapons from within and outside the region that threatens the peace, security, and stability of States in this region, and condemning attacks against humanitarian personnel,
“Expressing its strong support for the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Mali, and for the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) to assist the Malian authorities and the Malian people in their efforts to bring lasting peace and stability to their country, bearing in mind the primary responsibility of the Malian authorities to protect the population, and welcoming the stabilizing effect of the international presence in Mali, including MINUSMA,
“Commending troop and police contributing countries of MINUSMA for their contribution, paying tribute to the peacekeepers who risk, as well as lost, their lives in this respect, strongly condemning attacks against peacekeepers, and underlining that attacks targeting peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law,
“Expressing serious concern at the continuing lack of key capabilities for MINUSMA, stressing the need to strengthen MINUSMA’s capabilities to enable it to fulfil its mandate in a complex security environment that includes asymmetric threats, and emphasizing the utmost importance of ensuring the security and safety of MINUSMA’s personnel in that regard,
“Emphasizing the importance for MINUSMA to ensure the most effective use and disposition of its troops and capabilities in accordance with the prioritization of tasks of its mandate,
“Determining that the situation in Mali continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security,
“Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
“Implementation of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali
“1. Urges the Government of Mali, the Plateforme and Coordination armed groups to continue to engage constructively with sustained political will and in good faith to accelerate the implementation of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali to bring concrete peace dividends to the populations of Mali, and to urgently commit to a concrete timeline for its implementation;
“2. Urges the Government of Mali, the Plateforme and Coordination armed groups to prioritize without further delay the necessary steps to advance the implementation of the following provisions of the Agreement, bearing in mind the need to ensure the full implementation of the Agreement, notably:
- political and institutional aspects, as referred to in Part II of the Agreement, notably the decentralization process and the effective establishment of the interim administrations, as well as the timely holding of communal and regional elections by the Malian authorities,
- defence and security aspects, as referred to in Part III and Annex 2 of the Agreement, notably the deployment of joint security patrols and special units in the North of Mali and the cantonment, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of armed combatants, within the framework of the reform of the security sector;
“3. Urges the Government of Mali, the Plateforme and Coordination armed groups to continue to uphold the ceasefire agreement of 23 May 2014, the Arrangement sécuritaire pour une cessation des hostilités of 5 June 2015, and the declarations of cessation of hostilities of 24 July 2014 and 19 February 2015;
“4. Expresses its readiness to consider targeted sanctions against those who take actions to obstruct or threaten the implementation of the Agreement, those who resume hostilities and violate the ceasefire, those who attack and take actions to threaten MINUSMA and other international presences, as well as those who provide support to such attacks and actions;
“5. Demands that all armed groups in Mali put aside their arms, cease hostilities, reject the recourse to violence, cut off all ties with terrorist organisations, take concrete steps to enhance their cooperation and coordination with the Government of Mali to eliminate the terrorist threat, and recognize, without conditions, the unity and territorial integrity of the Malian State, within the framework of the Agreement;
“6. Urges all parties in Mali to cooperate fully with the deployment and activities of MINUSMA, in particular by ensuring the safety, security and freedom of movement of MINUSMA’s personnel with unhindered and immediate access throughout the territory of Mali to enable MINUSMA to carry out fully its mandate;
“7. Urges the Government of Mali, the Plateforme and Coordination armed groups to cooperate fully and coordinate with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Mali and MINUSMA, in particular on the implementation of the Agreement;
“8. Requests the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Mali to use his good offices to encourage and support the full implementation of the Agreement, in particular by playing a central role to support and oversee the implementation of the Agreement by the Government of Mali, the Plateforme and Coordination armed groups, notably by heading the Secretariat of the Comité de suivi de l’Accord (CSA), and in particular, to assist the Malian parties in identifying and prioritizing implementation steps, consistent with the provisions of the Agreement;
“9. Calls on the members of the CSA and other relevant international partners to sustain their support to the implementation of the Agreement, including through the appointment of an independent observer as provided for in article 63 of the Agreement, and to coordinate their efforts with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Mali and MINUSMA in this regard, and recognizes the role of the CSA to reconcile disagreements between the Malian parties;
“10. Affirms that the gradual restoration and extension of State authority across the territory of Mali, in particular the reformed and reconstituted Malian Defence and Security Forces (MDSF), consistent with the provisions of the Agreement, would contribute significantly to the stability of Mali and to deter the terrorist threat, and, in this regard, encourages bilateral and multilateral partners to increase their support to accelerate the redeployment of the MDSF, once reformed and reconstituted, to the north of Mali, particularly by providing relevant equipment and training, in coordination with the Government of Mali and MINUSMA and within the Framework of the Agreement;
“11. Calls upon the Government of Mali to finalize its strategy for the development of the North of Mali and the national emergency plan, welcomes the significant contributions of partners following the International Conference for the economic recovery and development of Mali held in Paris on 22 October 2015, encourages the effective fulfilment of the commitments made during this conference, and urges the Government of Mali to disburse the funds already received;
“12. Urges the Government of Mali to engage with the Secretary-General, through his Special Representative for Mali, in order to establish concrete benchmarks and timelines to assess the progress of the Malian parties toward the full and effective implementation of the Agreement and expresses its intention to keep under review the mandate and deployment of MINUSMA, including through considering the gradual handing over of some of MINUSMA’s sites to the MDSF once reconstituted and redeployed in the framework of the Agreement;
“13. Encourages all relevant United Nations agencies, as well as regional, bilateral and multilateral partners to provide the necessary support to contribute to the implementation of the Agreement by the Malian parties, in particular its provisions pertaining to socioeconomic and cultural development, and, in this regard, requests the Secretary-General to ensure an efficient division of tasks and complementarity of efforts between MINUSMA and the United Nations Country Team (UNCT), based on their comparative advantages, to support the implementation of the Agreement;
“14. Decides to extend the mandate of MINUSMA until 30 June 2017;
“15. Decides to increase the force levels of MINUSMA up to a ceiling of 13,289 military personnel, and 1,920 police personnel, and requests the Secretary-General to take the necessary steps to expedite force and asset generation, as well as deployment, including as set out in paragraph 41 below;
“16. Decides that the strategic priority of MINUSMA is to support the implementation by the Government, the Plateforme and Coordination armed groups, as well as by other relevant Malian stakeholders, of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali, in particular its provisions related to the gradual restoration and extension of State authority;
“17. Authorizes MINUSMA to take all necessary means to carry out its mandate, within its capabilities and its areas of deployment;
“18. Requests MINUSMA to move to a more proactive and robust posture to carry out its mandate;
“19. Decides that MINUSMA’s mandate shall include the following priority tasks:
(a) Support to the implementation of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali
(i) To support the implementation of the political and institutional reforms provided by the Agreement, especially in its Part II, notably to support the Government’s efforts for the effective and restoration and extension of State authority and rule of law throughout the territory, including through supporting the effective establishment of interim administrations in the North of Mali under the conditions set out in the Agreement;
(ii) To support the implementation of the defence and security measures of the Agreement, especially its Part III and Annex 2, notably:
- to support, monitor and supervise the ceasefire and to report to the Security Council on violations of it,
- to support the redeployment of the reformed and reconstituted Malian Defence and Security Forces especially (MDSF) in the Centre and North of Mali,
- to support the cantonment, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of armed groups, including through the integration of elements of the signatory armed groups in the MDSF as an interim measure, within the framework of the reform of the security sector, and without prejudice to the anticipated plans of the demobilization, disarmament and reintegration and integration commissions;
- to ensure coherence of international efforts, in close collaboration with other bilateral partners, donors and international organisations, including the European Union, engaged in these fields, to rebuild the Malian security sector, within the framework set out by the Agreement;
(iii) To support the implementation of the reconciliation and justice measures of the Agreement, especially in its Part V, including with respect to the establishment of an international commission of inquiry, in consultation with the parties, and support the operationalization of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission;
(iv) To support, within its resources and areas of deployment, the conduct of inclusive, free, fair and transparent local elections, as well as the holding of a constitutional referendum, including through the provision of appropriate logistical assistance and security arrangements, consistent with the provisions of the Agreement;
(v) To take into account the particular needs of women associated with armed groups, and to provide for their full access to Disarmament Demobilization Reintegration (DDR) programmes, inter alia, through consultation with women’s organizations;
(b) Good offices and reconciliation
To exercise good offices, confidence-building and facilitation at the national and local levels, in order to support dialogue with and among all stakeholders towards reconciliation and social cohesion, to support efforts to reduce intercommunal tensions, bearing in mind the primary responsibility of the Malian authorities, and to encourage and support the full implementation of the Agreement by the Government of Mali, the Plateforme and Coordination armed groups, including by promoting the participation of civil society, including women’s organisations, as well as youth organisations;
(c) Protection of civilians and stabilization, including against asymmetric threats
(i) To protect, without prejudice to the primary responsibility of the Malian authorities, civilians under threat of physical violence;
(ii) In support of the Malian authorities, to stabilize the key population centres and other areas where civilians are at risk, notably in the North and Centre of Mali, and, in this regard, to enhance early warning, to anticipate, deter and counter threats, including asymmetric threats, and to take robust and active steps to protect civilians, including through active and effective patrolling in areas where civilians are at risk, and to prevent the return of armed elements to those areas, engaging in direct operations pursuant only to serious and credible threats;
(iii) To provide specific protection for women and children affected by armed conflict, including through Child Protection Advisors and Women Protection Advisors, and address the needs of victims of sexual and gender-based violence in armed conflict;
(d) Countering asymmetric attacks in active defence of MINUSMA’s mandate
In pursuit of its priorities and active defence of its mandate, to anticipate and deter threats and to take robust and active steps to counter asymmetric attacks against civilians or United Nations personnel, to ensure prompt and effective responses to threats of violence against civilians and to prevent a return of armed elements to those areas, engaging in direct operations pursuant only to serious and credible threats;
(e) Protection, safety and security of United Nations personnel
To protect the United Nations personnel, notably uniformed personnel, installations and equipment and ensure the safety, security and freedom of movement of United Nations and associated personnel;
(f) Promotion and protection of human rights
(i) To assist the Malian authorities in their efforts to promote and protect human rights, in particular in the areas of justice and reconciliation, including to support, as feasible and appropriate, the efforts of the Malian authorities, without prejudice to their responsibilities, to bring to justice those responsible for serious abuses or violations of human rights or violations of international humanitarian law, in particular war crimes and crimes against humanity in Mali, taking into account the referral by the transitional authorities of Mali of the situation in their country since January 2012 to the International Criminal Court;
(ii) To monitor, help investigate and report to the Security Council and publicly, as appropriate, on violations of international humanitarian law and on violations and abuses of human rights, including all forms of sexual and gender based violence and violations and abuses committed against women and children throughout Mali and to contribute to efforts to prevent such violations and abuses;
(g) Humanitarian assistance
In support of the Malian authorities, to contribute to the creation of a secure environment for the safe, civilian-led delivery of humanitarian assistance, in accordance with humanitarian principles, and the voluntary, safe and dignified return or local integration or resettlement of internally displaced persons and refugees in close coordination with humanitarian actors;
“20. Further authorizes MINUSMA to use its existing capacities to assist in implementing the following tasks:
(a) Projects for stabilization
In support of the Malian authorities, to contribute to the creation of a secure environment for projects aimed at stabilizing the North of Mali, including quick impact projects;
(b) Weapons and ammunition management
To assist the Malian authorities with the removal and destruction of mines and other explosive devices and weapons and ammunition management;
(c) Support for cultural preservation
To assist the Malian authorities, as necessary and feasible, in protecting from attack the cultural and historical sites in Mali, in collaboration with UNESCO;
(d) Cooperation with the 1267/1989/2253 ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee
To assist, within its capabilities, its areas of deployment and without prejudice to its mandate, the 1267/1989/2253 ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee and the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team established by resolution 1526 (2004), including by passing information relevant to the implementation of the measures in paragraph 2 of resolution 2253 (2015);
“21. Requests the Secretary-General to utilize personnel and expertise within MINUSMA’s existing resources to reflect the prioritization of tasks as set out in paragraphs 19 and 20 of this resolution, and to continuously adjust this deployment according to the progress made in the implementation of MINUSMA’s mandate, consistent with the division of tasks requested in paragraph 13 of this resolution;
“22. Requests MINUSMA to update its protection of civilians strategy, consistent with paragraph 19 (c) and (d) above and, in this regard, to identify threats to civilians, implement prevention plans and accelerate the coordinated implementation of relevant monitoring, analysis and reporting arrangements;
“23. Requests MINUSMA to further enhance its interaction with the civilian population, as well as its cooperation with the Malian Defence and Security Forces, including through the development of an effective communication strategy and MINUSMA radio, in order to raise awareness and understanding about its mandate and activities;
“24. Requests the Secretary-General to enhance cooperation between MINUSMA, UNOWAS and Member States in the region as well as regional security initiatives, notably the G5 Sahel and the African Union Nouakchott Process, including through provision of relevant intelligence and liaison of officers from the G5 Sahel Member States to MINUSMA, in order to increase MINUSMA’s awareness of the regional security environment and facilitate the implementation of its mandate;
“25. Requests MINUSMA to ensure that any support provided to non-United Nations security forces, including the MDSF, is provided in strict compliance with the Human Rights Due Diligence Policy on United Nations support to non-United Nations security forces (HRDDP);
“26. Requests MINUSMA to take fully into account gender considerations as a cross-cutting issue throughout its mandate and to assist the Malian authorities in ensuring the full and effective participation, involvement and representation of women at all levels and at an early stage of the stabilization phase, including the security sector reform and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration processes, as well as in reconciliation and electoral processes, further requests MINUSMA to assist the parties to ensure women’s full and active participation in the implementation of the Agreement, and further requests enhanced reporting by MINUSMA to the Security Council on this issue;
“27. Requests the Secretary-General to ensure full compliance of MINUSMA with the United Nations zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuses and to keep the Council fully informed if such cases of misconduct occur, and urges troop- and police-contributing countries to take appropriate preventative action, including pre-deployment awareness training, and to ensure full accountability in cases of such conduct involving their personnel;
“28. Requests MINUSMA to take fully into account child protection as a cross-cutting issue throughout its mandate and to assist the Malian authorities in ensuring that the protection of children’s rights is taken into account, inter alia, in disarmament, demobilization and reintegration processes and in security sector reform in order to end and prevent violations and abuses against children;
“Capacities of MINUSMA, safety and security of MINUSMA’s personnel
“29. Requests the Secretary-General to take all necessary steps, including through the full use of existing authorities and at his discretion, to enable MINUSMA to reach its full operational capacity without further delay;
“30. Urges MINUSMA’s troop and police contributing countries to expedite the procurement and deployment of all necessary contingent-owned equipment and urges Member States to provide troops and police that have adequate capabilities, pre-deployment and, where appropriate, in situ training and equipment, including enablers, specific to the operating environment, in order for MINUSMA to fulfil its mandate and welcomes the assistance of Member States to MINUSMA’s troop and police contributing countries in this regard;
“31. Requests the Secretary-General to take all appropriate additional measures and, in consultation with troop contributing countries, to identify options, including seeking the support of Member States, to enhance the safety and security of MINUSMA’s personnel to enable MINUSMA to execute effectively its mandate in a complex security environment that includes asymmetric threats, including through:
- improving MINUSMA’s intelligence capacities, including surveillance and monitoring capacities, within the limits of its mandate,
- providing training and equipment to counter explosive devices, including enhanced support to troop contributing countries to deploy the remaining armoured personnel carriers and other mine-protected vehicles needed under the current Force requirements,
- generating adequate military capabilities to secure MINUSMA’s logistical supply routes, including the deployment of combat convoy battalions, as needed,
- implementing more effective casualty and medical evacuation procedures, as well as deploying enhanced medical evacuation capacities,
- taking active and effective measures to improve the planning and functioning of MINUSMA’s safety and security facilities and arrangements;
“32. Requests the Secretary-General to report on the measures referred to in paragraph 31 above in his regular reports on the situation in Mali;
“33. Calls upon Member States, especially those in the region, to ensure the free, unhindered and expeditious movement to and from Mali of all personnel, as well as equipment, provisions, supplies and other goods, which are for the exclusive and official use of MINUSMA, in order to facilitate the timely and cost-effective delivery of the logistical supply of MINUSMA, and in this regard, requests the Secretary-General to take all necessary measures to facilitate the logistical supply of MINUSMA and to consolidate supply routes, including through using alternative routes and relocating MINUSMA’s logistics hubs;
“34. Encourages the Secretary-General to keep the Mission concept under continuous review, in order to maximize the positive impact of MINUSMA’s resources and make operational adjustments where necessary, and requests the Secretary-General to keep it informed on its implementation;
“French forces mandate
“35. Authorizes French forces, within the limits of their capacities and areas of deployment, to use all necessary means until the end of MINUSMA’s mandate as authorized in this resolution, to intervene in support of elements of MINUSMA when under imminent and serious threat upon request of the Secretary-General, and requests France to report to the Council on the implementation of this mandate in Mali and to coordinate its reporting with the reporting by the Secretary-General referred to in paragraph 46 below;
“Obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law
“36. Urges the Malian authorities to further combat impunity and, in this regard, to ensure that all perpetrators of crimes involving violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, including those involving sexual violence, are held accountable and brought to justice, and also urges the Malian authorities to continue to cooperate with the International Criminal Court, in accordance with Mali’s obligations under the Rome Statute;
“37. Urges all parties to comply with obligations under international humanitarian law to respect and protect humanitarian personnel, facilities and relief consignments, and take all required steps to allow and facilitate the full, safe, immediate and unimpeded access of humanitarian actors for the delivery of humanitarian assistance to all people in need, while respecting the United Nations humanitarian guiding principles and applicable international law;
“38. Reiterates that the Malian authorities have primary responsibility to protect civilians in Mali, further recalls its resolutions 1265 (1999), 1296 (2000), 1674 (2006), 1738 (2006) and 1894 (2009) on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, its resolutions 1612 (2005), 1882 (2009), 1998 (2011), 2068 (2012), 2143 (2014) and 2225 (2015) on Children And Armed Conflict and its resolutions 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009), 1960 (2010), 2106 (2013), 2122 (2013) and 2242 (2016), on Women, Peace and Security, calls upon MINUSMA and all military forces in Mali to take them into account and to abide by international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law, recalls the importance of training in this regard, and urges all parties to implement the conclusions on Children And Armed Conflict in Mali adopted by the Security Council working group on 7 July 2014;
“Environmental impact of MINUSMA’s operations
“39. Requests MINUSMA to consider the environmental impacts of its operations when fulfilling its mandated tasks and, in this context, to manage them as appropriate and in accordance with applicable and relevant General Assembly resolutions and United Nations rules and regulations, and to operate mindfully in the vicinity of cultural and historical sites;
“Inter-mission cooperation in West Africa
“40. Authorizes the Secretary-General to take the necessary steps in order to ensure inter-mission cooperation, notably between MINUSMA, the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and the United Nations Operation in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI), appropriate transfers of troops and their assets from other United Nations missions to MINUSMA, subject to the following conditions: (i) the Council’s information and approval, including on the scope and duration of the transfer, (ii) the agreement of the troop-contributing countries and (iii) the security situation where these United Nations missions are deployed and without prejudice to the performance of their mandates, and, in this regard, encourages further steps to enhance inter-mission cooperation in the West African region, as necessary and feasible, and to report thereon for consideration as appropriate;
“41. Endorses the proposal by the Secretary-General as set out in his reports of 31 March 2016 (S/2016/298) and 31 May 2016 (S/2016/498) to transfer the quick reaction force established by resolution 2162 (2014), as well as the aviation unit supporting it, from UNOCI to MINUSMA, following its withdrawal from UNOCI no later than 31 March 2017, to enhance the operations of MINUSMA to implement its mandate, and also to operate in Liberia, as required in the event of a serious deterioration of the security situation, and requests the Secretary-General to keep the Security Council updated on the proposed modalities of transfer of this unit in his upcoming reports on MINUSMA and UNMIL;
“Regional and international cooperation on the Sahel
“42. Calls upon all Member States, notably Sahel, West Africa and Maghreb States, as well as regional, bilateral and multilateral partners, to enhance their coordination, including through the G5 Sahel and the African Union Nouakchott process, to develop inclusive and effective strategies to combat in a comprehensive and integrated manner the activities of terrorist groups crossing borders and seeking safe havens in the Sahel region, notably AQIM, MUJAO, Ansar Eddine and Al Mourabitoune, and to prevent the expansion of those groups as well as to limit the proliferation of all arms and transnational organized crime and other illicit activities such as drug trafficking, smuggling of migrants and human trafficking;
“43. Calls for the rapid and effective implementation, in consultation with Member States of the Sahel region and bilateral partners and multilateral organisations, of regional strategies encompassing security, governance, development, human rights and humanitarian issues such as the United Nations integrated strategy for the Sahel, and encourages in this regard the Special Representative of the Secretary General for West Africa and the Sahel to continue to support Member States of the region, including of the G5 Sahel, and regional and international organisations, to tackle the challenges to peace, security and development in the Sahel region as well as their root causes;
“European Union contribution
“44. Calls on the European Union, notably its Special Representative for the Sahel and its EUTM Mali and EUCAP Sahel Mali missions, to coordinate closely with MINUSMA and other bilateral partners of Mali engaged to assist the Malian authorities in the Security Sector Reform (SSR), as provided for by the Agreement and consistent with paragraph 19 (c) (ii) above;
“Small arms and light weapons
“45. Calls upon the Malian authorities, with the assistance of MINUSMA, consistent with paragraph 14 above, and international partners, to address the issue of the proliferation and illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons in accordance with the ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons, Their Ammunition and Other Related Materials and the United Nations Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons, in order to ensure the safe and effective management, storage and security of their stockpiles of small arms and light weapons and the collection and/or destruction of surplus, seized, unmarked or illicitly held weapons, and further stresses the importance of the full implementation of its resolutions 2017 (2011), 2117 (2013) and 2220 (2015);
“Reports by the Secretary-General
“46. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council every three months after the adoption of this resolution on the implementation of this resolution, focusing on the progress in the implementation of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali and on MINUSMA’s efforts to support it, and, in this regard, requests the Secretary-General to include in his December report benchmarks and timelines as referred to in paragraph 12, and, then, to report on these benchmarks in his regular reports;
“47. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”
Following the adoption, several members addressed the Council.
AMR ABDELLATIF ABOULATTA (Egypt) said the text took into consideration the critical situation on the ground, as well as the unique challenges facing MINSUMA. Unfortunately, the Mission had become one of the most dangerous in the world, and the resolution provided it with a balanced mandate, in keeping with the current challenges, strengthening the mandate of its “blue helmets” in such areas as protection of civilians and helping it to better support the Government in implementing the peace agreement. “Stability in Mali is the cornerstone of peace, well-being and stability in the Sahel region,” he emphasized.
PETR ILIICHEV (Russian Federation) said his delegation had voted in favour of the resolution given the importance of the Council’s unanimous support for it. Expressing concern about the safety of MINSUMA peacekeepers, he nevertheless said that some delegations had tried to take advantage by pushing ambiguous language and vague references to “asymmetric threats” that might justify the use of force. MINUSMA must act in accordance with the principles of peacekeeping, he emphasized, adding that the use of force should be based on a serious assessment of the threats.
ELBIO ROSSELLI (Uruguay) said his delegation had voted in favour of the resolution, convinced that it was important to ensure the continuity of MINUSMA’s work. It was clear that the Mission’s security must be improved, not only to prevent further losses, but also to help it ensure compliance with its mandate. Noting that terrorist tactics and asymmetric threats presented serious risks to the security of peacekeepers, he emphasized the need to adapt to such threats, while pointing out that it was not appropriate for peacekeeping missions to participate in military operations to confront terrorism. Through the resolution, the Council had allowed MINUSMA to adopt a firmer, more proactive posture, but that should not lead to preventive actions or attacks when it came to fighting terrorism, which would change the nature of what a peacekeeping mission should be, he said, emphasizing that MINUSMA’s mandate was extraordinary in nature and should not be replicated in or transferred to other peacekeeping operations.
GORGUI CISS (Senegal) said his delegation was a co-sponsor of the resolution, convinced that it would provide MINUSMA with a much more robust and effective mandate, in accordance with the wishes clearly expressed by the member States of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The text gave the Mission the means to re-establish Mali’s sovereignty over its territory and to deal with asymmetric threats, he noted. Calling on parties to the conflict to be more engaged and committed to implementation of the peace agreement, particularly by providing more information on cantonment and joint patrols, he further called upon the Council and the international community to spare no effort in providing every possible support to Mali during the present critical period.
KORO BESSHO (Japan), recalling that a year had passed since the signing of the peace agreement, said “we must not lose momentum”. MINUSMA continued to support Government efforts to implement the peace agreement, while international partners, including Japan, continued to provide bilateral support. The principal actors were the Malian parties themselves, he pointed out, recalling that Prime Minister Modibo Kéita had addressed the Council and expressed his commitment to implementing the peace agreement.
DAVID PRESSMAN (United States) said the resolution came at a critical time, both for Mali’s history and for United Nations peacekeeping. MINUSMA troops were increasingly called upon to respond to asymmetric threats, which required more prompt and agile responses, as well as clarity on the Council’s part. The Council had taken an important step by reconciling MINUSMA’s mandate with the current situation on the ground, ensuring that it could take a more mobile and robust posture. Indeed, the Mission must be able to anticipate, counter and deter threats, including asymmetric threats, in order to protect civilians, he emphasized. That was not ambiguous, as some had suggested, it was rational, he said, pointing out that the peace agreement remained largely unimplemented. Failure to move forward on it would create openings for spoilers and terrorists, he warned. “Too much time has passed and patience is wearing thin.”
GERARD VAN BOHEMEN (New Zealand) expressed support for a mandate that would allow peacekeepers to take robust actions in protecting themselves and civilians in environments harbouring asymmetric threats. Troops should be able to take such proactive measures, he said, expressing concern about MINSUMA’s lack of key capabilities. The resolution clarified its mandate and did not broaden, he emphasized.
ALBERTO PABLO DE LA CALLE GARCÍA (Spain) described the Council’s authorization of the use of force in response to asymmetric attacks was an important step that put MINUSMA’s troops in a better position to act in an extremely hostile environment. However, the resolution was just the beginning of what should be a new chapter, he said, calling on all Malian parties to accelerate implementation of the peace agreement.
MATTHEW RYCROFT (United Kingdom) said the resolution would provide MINUSMA with the capabilities and terms to carry out its mandate. It stated that peacekeepers would take action against asymmetric threats, which was fully in accordance with the principles of peacekeeping, he said, adding that the text further demonstrated the Council’s shared commitment to peace and stability in Mali.
FRANÇOIS DELATTRE (France), Council President for June, spoke in his national capacity, noting that, through the resolution, the Council asked the Government of Mali to speed up implementation of the peace agreement. It also set MINSUMA’s strategic priorities — supporting the accord’s implementation in particular — and strengthened its mandate so that the Mission could adapt to the environment. Noting that MINUSMA was tackling terrorist threats in an “exceptional environment”, he emphasized that the protection of civilians and the safety of peacekeepers were absolute priorities. By adding some 2,500 troops, the resolution gave the Mission the most robust mandate possible and allowed it to counter asymmetric threats. In adopting it, the Council had exercised fully its responsibility for maintaining international peace and security, he said.
ABDOULAYE DIOP, Minister for Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and African Integration of Mali, said his country’s expectations — presented to the Council by Prime Mister Kéita — centred on a more robust posture, strengthening MINUSMA’s capabilities and greater support for Mali’s Armed Forces. The Government had also requested more support for regional counter-terrorism initiatives, including those of the Group of Five for the Sahel, ECOWAS and the African Union. The resolution incorporated those expectations and included new features to support all efforts to stabilize Mali. The strengthened and more robust mandate provided MINUSMA with the capacity to carry out its tasks in an exceptional environment marked by asymmetric threats, and sent a strong signal to all enemies of peace, he said. Mali welcomed the Council’s courage in having fully assumed its responsibility to tackle threats to international peace and security, he said, reiterating his country’s commitment to implementing the peace agreement.