The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Sebastiano Cardi (Italy):
The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the attack against a detachment of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) during a coordinated operation with Malian defence forces in the region of Ménaka, Mali, on 24 November 2017, which caused the death of at least three Nigerien peacekeepers and at least one Malian soldier, and injured other peacekeepers.
The members of the Security Council expressed their deepest condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims, as well as to the Government of Niger, to the Government of Mali, and to MINUSMA. They wished a speedy and full recovery to those who were injured. They paid tribute to the peacekeepers who risk their lives.
The members of the Security Council called on the Government of Mali to swiftly investigate this attack and bring the perpetrators to justice. They underlined that attacks targeting peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law. They stressed that involvement in planning, directing, sponsoring or conducting attacks against MINUSMA peacekeepers constitute a basis for sanctions designations pursuant to United Nations Security Council resolutions.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security. The members of the Security Council underlined the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice. They stressed that those responsible for these killings should be held accountable, and urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with all relevant authorities in this regard.
The members of the Security Council reiterated that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed. They reaffirmed the need for all States to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and other obligations under international law, including international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their full support for MINUSMA and the French forces that support it. They reiterated their strong support for the Special Representative of the Secretary‑General for Mali, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, and for MINUSMA to assist the Malian authorities and the Malian people in their efforts to bring lasting peace and stability to their country, including through MINUSMA’s support to the implementation of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali. They recognized the determination and ownership of the Governments of the Group of Five for the Sahel States (G‑5 Sahel) to address the impact of terrorism and transnational organized crime, including through the conduct of cross‑border joint military counter‑terrorist operations.
The members of the Security Council expressed their concern about the security situation in Mali and the transnational dimension of the terrorist threat in the Sahel region. They urged the Malian parties to fully implement the Agreement without further delay. They noted that the full implementation of the Agreement and the intensification of efforts to overcome asymmetric threats can contribute to improving the security situation across Mali. They underlined that the efforts of the Force Conjointe of the G‑5 Sahel to counter the activities of terrorist groups and other organized criminal groups will contribute to create a more secure environment in the Sahel region.
The members of the Security Council further stressed the importance that MINUSMA has the necessary capacities, including combat convoy companies, to fulfil its mandate and promote the safety and security of the United Nations peacekeepers, pursuant to Security Council resolution 2364 (2017).