The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Joanna Wronecka (Poland):
The members of the Security Council heard on 23 May 2018 briefings on the activities of the joint force of the Group of Five for the Sahel (FC-G5S) by the Assistant Secretary‑General for Peacekeeping Operations, Bintou Keita; the Permanent Secretary of the G5 Sahel, Maman Sidikou; the Permanent Observer of the African Union to the United Nations, Fatima Kyari Mohammed; and the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, João Vale de Almeida.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the significant and swift progress achieved in the implementation of resolution 2391 (2017), including through: the holding of the international high‑level conference on the Sahel on 23 February 2018 by the G5 Sahel, United Nations, African Union and the European Union, which resulted in pledges for a total of €414 million in support to FC‑G5S; the signing on 23 February 2018 of a technical agreement between the United Nations, European Union and the G5 Sahel with a view to providing specified operational and logistical support through the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) to the FC‑G5S, as per the conditions set by resolution 2391 (2017); and the endorsement by the G5 Sahel, through the technical agreement, of a robust compliance framework to prevent, investigate, address and publicly report violations and abuses of human rights law and violations of international humanitarian law related to the FC‑G5S (“the compliance framework”). They welcomed the personal commitment of the Secretary‑General to support the operationalization of the FC‑G5S. They commended the United Nations, African Union and the European Union for their positive roles on this issue.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the continued determination of the G5 Sahel States to unite their efforts to address the impact of terrorism and transnational organized crime in the Sahel region. They showed appreciation for the continued efforts of the G5 Sahel States towards the full and effective operationalization of the FC‑G5S, including through progress in the deployment of troops, the conduct of a second operation, the operationalization of the central command post and of the sector headquarters, as well as the adoption of the operational and administrative framework of the joint force. They took positive note of the progress made towards the institutionalization of the G5 Sahel Permanent Secretariat, including through the creation of a “Defence and Security Bureau” and through the establishment of a dedicated trust fund.
The members of the Security Council encouraged the G5 Sahel States to continue to take appropriate measures in order for the FC‑G5S to reach its full operational capacity as soon as possible, including through the swift disbursement of all national contributions, the deployment of all troops, the resolution of remaining command and control issues and the operationalization of the compliance framework. They supported the efforts of the G5 Sahel States to deploy the police component of the FC‑G5S as soon as possible, with a view towards ensuring the necessary coordination between the FC‑G5S and the criminal justice systems of G5 Sahel States. They called upon the G5 Sahel rotating presidency to convene on a regular basis meetings of the Groupe de Soutien, as referred to in resolution 2391 (2017), in order to continue to ensure full and effective integration of the FC‑G5S in its regional and international environment as well as the efficient coordination of international support to the FC‑G5S.
The members of the Security Council commended all relevant donors for their mobilization in support to the FC‑G5S. They insisted on the critical need for support to materialize through a swift disbursement of all pledges announced, in order to accelerate the full and effective operationalization of the FC‑G5S without delay. They recognized the valuable work of the European Union coordination hub in the identification of the needs of the FC‑G5S as well as in the coordination of bilateral contributions in support to the FC‑G5S, and encouraged the European Union to continue to work closely with the Permanent Secretariat of the G5 Sahel on this matter. They welcomed the signing on 23 March 2018 of a memorandum of understanding between the G5 Sahel and the African Union Peace and Security Commission, with a view to providing equipment as well as technical and financial support towards the operationalization of the FC‑G5S, including through the establishment of a strategic coordination cell to provide technical assistance for the G5 Sahel trust fund as well as for the mobilization of resources. They encouraged donors and partners to increase their support to the Permanent Secretariat of the G5 Sahel.
The members of the Security Council took positive note of the operationalization of the support to the FC‑G5S through the technical agreement following the disbursement of a contribution of the European Union for an amount of €10 million. They called on donors to further contribute without delay, in order to guarantee full implementation and functionality of the technical agreement.
The members of the Security Council recalled that a military response to the threats faced by the G5 Sahel can only be effective if complemented by the full, effective and inclusive implementation of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali, if accompanied by the rapid and effective implementation of inclusive regional strategies encompassing security, governance, development, human rights and humanitarian issues, as well as if conducted in full compliance with international law, by taking active steps to minimize the risk of harm to civilians in all areas of operations.
The members of the Security Council recalled that allegations of violations and abuses of human rights law and allegations of violations of international humanitarian law related to the FC‑G5S should be investigated and acted upon, as planned for in the compliance framework. They underlined that adherence to the compliance framework is essential in ensuring the required trust among the populations, and thus the effectiveness and the legitimacy of the FC-G5S.
The members of the Security Council expressed their deep concern about the continued deterioration of the security situation in the Sahel region. They expressed their intention to continue to monitor closely the situation as well as the support to the FC‑G5S, in parallel to progress made in the operationalization of the FC‑G5S.