On 22 April, Council members condemned the attack perpetrated on 20 April against a convoy of MINUSMA between Douentza and Boni (region of Mopti), which resulted in one peacekeeper from Egypt killed and four others injured.
On 20 March, the Security Council held an informal interactive dialogue with the PBC on the Sahel. Germany, as the informal coordinator between the Council and the PBC, organised the meeting in preparation for the Council’s visiting mission to Mali and Burkina Faso later in the month. The Chair of the PBC, Ambassador Guillermo Fernández de Soto (Colombia) and Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support Oscar Fernández-Taranco provided briefings. Côte d’Ivoire, France and Germany co-led a visiting mission to Mali and Burkina Faso from 21 to 25 March. The focus of the mission was to assess the implementation of the 2015 Peace and Reconciliation Agreement in Mali, the operationalisation of the joint force of the G5 Sahel and the deterioration of the security situation in Burkina Faso. Upon returning to New York, on 27 March, the co-leads briefed the Council on the mission and on 29 March the Council held a ministerial meeting on Mali chaired by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, featuring a briefing by Secretary-General António Guterres and with the participation of Malian Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubèye Maïga. Separately, on 28 March there was a high-level meeting on the G5 Sahel at UN headquarters in New York.
On 16 January, the Council was briefed on the situation in Mali by Assistant Secretary-General for Africa Bintou Keita. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Mali, Kamissa Camara, participated in the meeting. The basis for the discussion was the latest report of the Secretary-General. After the meeting, Council members issued a press statement expressing “a significant sense of impatience with parties over the persistent delays in the full implementation of key provisions of the agreement”. On 20 January, Council members condemned an attack against the MINUSMA camp in Aguelhok, which resulted in 10 peacekeepers from Chad killed and several others injured, in spite of the robust response from MINUSMA. On 25 January, Council members condemned the attack perpetrated earlier that day against a MINUSMA convoy near Douentza (region of Mopti), which resulted in two peacekeepers from Sri Lanka killed and several others injured.
From 11-16 November, the Military Staff Committee conducted a field trip to Mali. On 21 November, the 2374 Mali Sanctions Committee held a meeting.
On 19 October, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix briefed the Council on a 25 September report of the Secretary-General on Mali and the work of MINUSMA. Following the meeting, Council members issued a press statement commending the 15 October signing of a pact for peace between the government of Mali and the UN. On 27 October, Council members issued a press statement condemning the attacks that same day against a convoy of MINUSMA near the town of Konna, which resulted in two peacekeepers from Burkina Faso killed and several from Burkina Faso and Togo injured.
On 24 August, Council members issued a press statement welcoming the publication of the final results of the presidential elections in Mali. The Council adopted resolution 2432 renewing the targeted sanctions regime on Mali—travel ban and assets freeze—and the mandate of the 2374 Mali Sanctions Committee’s Panel of Experts.
On 14 June, the Council was briefed on the situation in Mali by Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix. Mali’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tiéman Hubert Coulibaly, participated in the meeting. The discussion was based on a 6 June Secretary-General’s report, which was on recent developments in the country, the upcoming presidential elections, and the renewal of the mandate of MINUSMA. On 28 June the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2423 renewing the mandate for one year.
On 5 April, Council members issued a press statement condemning an attack against a MINUSMA camp in Aguelhok, which caused the death of two Chadian peacekeepers and injured ten others. The next day, Council members condemned an attack against a MINUSMA vehicle in Gao which caused the death of a Nigerien peacekeeper. On 11 April, the Council was briefed by Mahamat Saleh Annadif, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of MINUSMA, who presented the 29 March report of the Secretary-General on Mali. The Foreign Minister of Mali, Tiéman Hubert Coulibaly, also participated at the meeting. On 15 April, Council members condemned an attack on a MINUSMA camp in Timbuktu the day before, which caused the death of a Burkinabe peacekeeper and injured others, including Malian civilians, MINUSMA personnel, and members of the French forces. On 18 April, Council members met in consultations, at the request of France, to be briefed on the latest attacks against the mission.
On 5 February, the 2374 Mali Sanctions Committee held its first meeting at which four members of the Panel of Experts were introduced. Although the committee was established in September 2017, it took Council members four months to negotiate its guidelines.
On 23 January, the Council was briefed by Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, who presented the 26 December 2017 report of the Secretary-General on Mali. The Foreign Minister of Mali, Tiéman Hubert Coulibaly, also participated in the meeting. On 24 January, Council members issued a press statement welcoming the renewed commitment of the government of Mali and the coalitions of armed groups to the expeditious implementation of all of their remaining obligations under the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali by the end of March 2018.
On 5 October, the Council held a briefing and consultations on Mali. The Council was briefed by Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Mali and head of MINUSMA Mahamat Saleh Annadif based on the 28 September Secretary-General’sreport. Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop of Mali also spoke at the meeting. The need to prevent the gains achieved in Mali from being reversed featured prominently at the meeting. In a 6 October press statement, Council members expressed their deep concern over the persistent delays in the full implementation of key provisions of the 2015 Peace and Reconciliation Agreement and urged the parties to adopt without delay an agreed-upon chronogram (timeline) for its implementation.
On 18-23 October, Council members undertook a visiting mission to the Sahel (Burkina Faso, Mali and Mauritania). The objective of the mission was to assess the situation of the countries of the G5 Sahel, in particular regarding the level and the nature of the threat posed by terrorism and transnational organised crime, as well as to assess the status of the operationalisation of the G5 Sahel joint force. Furthermore, the visiting mission aimed to deliver a clear message to the parties in Mali regarding the need to accelerate the implementation of the Agreement.
On 30 October, the Council was briefed by Secretary-General António Guterres and discussed a 16 October report on the activities of the joint force, including the challenges encountered in its operationalisation and possible measures for consideration. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the AU Commission, and the Foreign Minister of MaliAbdulaye Diop, as rotating President of the G5 Sahel, addressed the Council as well. The other members of the G5 Sahel (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania and Niger)alsoparticipates in the meeting. The discussion was chaired by Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs.
On 14 August, Council members condemned the terrorist attack against the MINUSMA camps in Douentza, Mali, which caused the death of one Togolese peacekeeper and injured another.
On 16 June, the Council was briefed by Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of MINUSMA Mahamat Saleh Annadif based on the 6 June Secretary-General’s report. On 29 June, the Council adopted resolution renewing MINUSMA’s mandate for an additional year.
On 6 April, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix briefed the Council on the situation in Mali. Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop of Mali also spoke at the meeting. Lacroix discussed challenges to the implementation of the 2015 Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation outlined in the Secretary-General’s 30 March report.
On 18 January, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous briefed the Council on the situation in Mali. Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop of Mali and Ambassador Sabri Boukadoum (Algeria) also spoke. During consultations following the meeting, Council members were briefed by Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of MINUSMA, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, and discussed challenges to the implementation of the 2015 Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation outlined in the Secretary-General’s 30 December 2016 report. In a subsequent press statement, they condemned the attack—claimed by terrorist group Al-Mourabitoun—against the camp of the Operational Coordination Mechanism in Gao which caused the deaths of dozens of persons. On 24 January, Council members issued a press statement condemning the attack against a MINUSMA camp in Aguelhoc that caused the death of a Chadian peacekeeper.
On 3 November, the Council adopted a presidential statement that strongly condemned repeated ceasefire violations in Mali over the last few months and urged the parties to expeditiously carry out all their commitments under the 2015 Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation. On 7 November, Council members issued a press statement condemning an attack on a complex near Douentza, in the centre of Mali, during which two Malian civilians and one Togolese MINUSMA peacekeeper were killed.
On 4 October, Council members issued a press statement condemning the multiple terrorist attacks against MINUSMA, during which two peacekeepers from Chad were killed and others injured. On 6 October, the Council was briefed on the absence of concrete progress in implementing the peace agreement and the deteriorating security environment in Mali by Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous. Ladsous also briefed on the latest MINUSMA report. Atul Khare, Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, stressed how MINUSMA is missing key capabilities needed to operate safely and effectively in the current environment.
On 8 August, Council members condemned the terrorist attacks that occurred between 5 and 7 August against MINUSMA in the northern region of Kidal, killing one peacekeeper and injuring another six.
On 1 June, Council members issued a press statement condemning a terrorist attack against a MINUSMA camp in Gao during which a peacekeeper from China was killed (SC/12384). On 16 June, Special Representative Mahamat Saleh Annadif briefed the Council (S/PV.7719) on the Secretary-General’s latest MINUSMA report (S/2016/498). The meeting was followed by an informal interactive dialogue of Council members with Malian Prime Minister Modibo Keita. On 29 June, the Council adopted resolution 2295 renewing MINUSMA’s mandate for a year.
On 12 February, Council members issued a press statement condemning a terrorist attack against MINUSMA that killed seven peacekeepers from Guinea.
On 11 January, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous briefed the Council on the latest MINUSMA report. On 12 January, Council members issued a press statement urging the government of Mali, the Platform and Coordination armed groups to prioritise the implementation of key provisions of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali in order to bring concrete peace dividends to the populations of Mali.
Attacks on 7 and 8 August in the Byblos hotel in Sévaré in central Mali resulted in 13 deaths, including four employees of a MINUSMA contractor, and left several injured. Despite the threat to impose sanctions, the first major ceasefire violations occurred in mid-August when the Groupe Autodéfense Touareg Imghad et Alliés (GATIA)—a member of the Platform coalition of armed groups closely aligned with the government—established new forward positions in areas of the Kidal region which under the ceasefire arrangements were under the control of the Coordination coalition of armed groups. This resulted in deadly clashes with Coordination forces and GATIA’s takeover of the town of Anéfis. At the request of France, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous briefed Council members on 19 August under “any other business” on the ceasefire violations, describing the deployment of a joint observation and verification team to the north and the establishment of a security zone by MINUSMA around Kidal to prevent further ceasefire violations. In elements to the press issued after the meeting, Council members underscored their preparedness to adopt targeted sanctions against those who violate the ceasefire or threaten the implementation of the peace agreement.
On 2 July, Council members condemned the terrorist attack against a MINUSMA convoy in the region of Timbuktu, which killed six Burkinabe peacekeepers (SC/11959).
On 18 June, Council members issued a press statement reiterating their support to the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali and looking forward to its signing by the Coordination armed groups. On 23 June, the Council was briefed by Special Representative Mongi Hamdi on the Secretary-General’s MINUSMA report and the 20 June signing of the peace agreement by the Coordination, thereby completing the signing process. The Foreign Minister of Mali, Abdoulaye Diop, also participated in the meeting. On 29 June, the Council adopted resolution 2227 renewing MINUSMA.
On 1 May, Council members issued a press statement condemning the violations of the ceasefire in northern Mali. Briefing Council members under “any other business” on 7 May, peacekeeping head Hervé Ladsous presented the conditions for the Secretariat to support a partial signature of the peace agreement: the agreement had to remain open to subsequent signatures of remaining parties, dialogue with them must continue, the ceasefire must be respected and implementation of the main provisions by the signatories must begin as soon as possible. On 28 May, Ladsous briefed again under “any other business” to update Council members on his recent visit to Mali to attend the 15 May signing of the partial peace agreement. On 29 may, Council members issued a press statement deploring the shooting incident during which a Bangladeshi peacekeeper was killed and reiterating the Council’s full support to the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali.
On 2 April, Council members were briefed under “any other business” by Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous on the results of an inquiry launched by the Secretary-General into the killing of three civilians by MINUSMA forces during a demonstration against the mission in Gao on 27 January. The inquiry team concluded that Rwandan members of a formed police unit had used unauthorised and excessive force on civilians, resulting in the death by gunfire of three protesters and the wounding of four others. On 9 April, Ladsous briefed the Council on the most recent MINUSMA report and on conversations in Algiers between the Algeria-led mediation team and the coalition of armed groups known as the Coordination. The Foreign Minister of Mali, Abdoulaye Diop, who also briefed, asked the Council to consider targeted sanctions against those who impede the Algiers peace process. On 10 April, Council members issued a press statement welcoming the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation initialed by representatives of the Malian government and one of the coalitions of armed groups (SC/11855).
On 1 March, the government and a coalition of armed groups considered to be more closely aligned with the government—the Platform—initialled a peace agreement in Algiers. The other coalition of armed groups—the Coordination—requested more time to consult with its constituency before initialling the document. MINUSMA’s head Mongi Hamdi briefed Council members on these developments via video teleconference under “any other business” on 4 March. Council members subsequently agreed on elements to the press encouraging the Coordination to initial the agreement but at press time the Coordination had not signed the document. On 7 March Council members condemned a terrorist attack in which a masked individual opened fire in a restaurant in Bamako, killing five people and wounding seven others and on 8 March, Council members condemned a coordinated attack against a MINUSMA camp in Kidal which resulted in the death of two children and a Chadian peacekeeper (SC/11812). On 17 March, Council members expressed regret at the death of two Dutch MINUSMA peacekeepers in a helicopter accident.
On 6 February, the Council adopted a presidential statement ahead of the start of the fifth round of the inter-Malian negotiation process in Algiers scheduled for 8 February. The statement expressed the pressing need to reach a comprehensive and inclusive peace agreement that addresses the root causes of the crisis in Mali. It underlines the need for the government of Mali and the armed groups that are party to the June 2013 Ouagadougou Preliminary Agreement to engage with sustained political will, a spirit of compromise and in good faith through senior and fully empowered representatives in the inter-Malian negotiation process in Algiers.
On 6 January, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Hervé Ladsous presented the most recent MINUSMA report (S/2014/943) and reported that there had only been modest progress in the peace process since October 2014 (S/PV.7355). On 17 January, Council members issued a press statement condemning the coordinated attacks against MINUSMA, where one Chadian peacekeeper was killed and others were injured (SC/11739).
On 10 November, Council members participated in an informal interactive dialogue with Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Field Support Ameerah Haq and the Deputy Military Adviser Major General Adrian Foster on the situation in Mali. The discussion focused on the relevance of the current mandate of MINUSMA in the current context of increasing asymmetrical threats.
On 3 October, Council members issued a press statement condemning an attack on MINUSMA in which nine Nigerien peacekeepers were killed (SC/11587) and on 7 October, another press statement condemned an attack in Kidal which killed one Senegalese peacekeeper (SC/11591). On 8 October, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Hervé Ladsous presented the most recent Mali report (S/2014/692) and reported that MINUSMA is no longer operating in a peacekeeping environment. The Foreign Minister of Mali, Abdoulaye Diop, also addressed the Council during the public session (S/PV.7274). On 17 October, the Council welcomed the scheduled resumption on 19 October of the inter-Malian negotiation process in Algiers (SC/11604).
On 2 September, the Council issued a press statement condemning the attack in which four Chadian MINUSMA peacekeepers were killed (SC/11547). On 6 September, a press statement was issued welcoming the release of two Algerian diplomats who were taken hostage by the Mouvement pour l’Unicité et le Jihad en Afrique de l’Ouest, condemning the assassination of another Algerian diplomat and regretting the death of the Algerian consul while in captivity (SC/11551). On 14 September, a press statement was issued condemning the attack in which one Chadian MINUSMA peacekeeper was killed and four were injured (SC/11558) and on 19 September, condemning the attack in which five Chadian MINUSMA peacekeepers were killed and three were severely injured (SC/11568).
On 18 August, Councilmembers condemned a suicide attack in Ber which killed two Burkinabe MINUSMA peacekeepers and injured seven.
On 28 July, the Council adopted a presidential statement welcoming the commencement on 16 July of the inter-Malian negotiation process in Algiers which led to the consensual adoption of a roadmap (Feuille de route des négociations dans le cadre du processus d’Alger) by the parties. On 1 July, Council members issued a press statement condemning a 30 June improvised explosive device explosion, which killed a MINUSMA peacekeeper and injured six other peacekeepers.
On 11 June, Council members issued a press statement condemning an attack on MINUSMA in which four Chadian peacekeepers were killed (SC/11438). Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Hervé Ladsous briefed the Council on 18 June, presenting the most recent MINUSMA report (S/2014/403). The Foreign Minister of Mali, Abdoulaye Diop, also addressed the Council during the public session (S/PV.7202). Special Representative Albert Gerard Koenders briefed during the following consultations. On 25 June, the Council adopted resolution 2164 that established benchmarks for MINUSMA, renewed the mission for a year and granted Koenders greater political authority.
On 20 May, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of MINUSMA Albert Gerard Koenders briefed the Council on the violence in Kidal (S/PV.7179). During the briefing, Mali’s Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop requested a more robust mandate for MINUSMA and for it to include the disarmament of armed groups. The Council issued a press statement that day, condemning the violent clashes in Kidal and called on all parties to act with restraint and refrain from any further violence that could threaten civilians (SC/11406).
On 23 April, the Council was briefed by the head of MINUSMA, Special Representative Albert Gerard Koenders, who presented the Secretary-General’s most recent report. The Minister for Foreign Affairs, African Integration and International Cooperation of Mali, Abdoulaye Diop, also participated. After meeting in consultations, Council members issued a press statement expressing concern over the lack of progress on the peace talks.
From 31 January to 3 February, Council members took part in a visiting mission to Mali (Bamako and Mopti) led by Chad and France (S/2014/72). The mission was undertaken to reiterate the Council’s urgent call for an inclusive and credible negotiation process open to all communities of the north, as well as emphasising the Council’s full support of the good offices of the Special Representative for Mali. On 26 February, the Council was briefed by the co-leads of the visiting mission.
A presidential statement (S/PRST/2014/2) adopted on 23 January highlighted the Council’s call to swiftly and fully implement the provisions of the 18 June 2013 Ouagadougou Preliminary Agreement, including “the cantonment of armed groups, the re-establishment of state administration throughout the country and the urgent launching of inclusive and credible peace talks” (S/PV.7099).
On 10 December, DPKO updated Council members in consultations on the challenges MINUSMA has faced reaching its full operational capacity. Following a 12 December briefing by Special Envoy Romano Prodi on the Sahel strategy, the Council adopted a presidential statement addressing the complex security and political challenges in this region. On 14 December, the Council issued a press statement condemning the attacks on MINUSMA which resulted in the death of Senegalese peacekeepers.
On 2 November, the Council issued a press statement on the two French journalists killed in Kidal. Council members recalled how journalists are considered civilians in accordance with international humanitarian law and shall be respected and protected as such. They also called on the Government of Mali to swiftly investigate the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice.
On 16 October, the Council was briefed by Albert Gerard Koenders, the Special Representative and head of MINUSMA, followed by consultations. Koenders presented the latest report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Mali highlighting the challenges MINUSMA is facing to reach its full operational capacity and how recent terrorist attacks were “an important wake-up call” over security. On 23 October, Council members issued a press statement condemning the attack against MINUSMA in Tessalit.
On 16 August, Council members adopted a press statement taking note of the provisional results of the presidential runoff elections in Mali, which declared Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta the elected President of Mali. Council members commended the Malian people for the peaceful participation in the electoral process as well as the transitional authorities for the successful preparation, organisation and management of the elections. Council members also called for the swift holding of free, fair, transparent, and inclusive legislative elections and reiterated the call for inclusive and credible peace talks open to all communities of the north of Mali in the timeframe set out by the Ouagadougou Agreement of 18 June 2013.
On 19 June, Council members welcomed the “Preliminary Agreement to the Presidential Election and Inclusive Peace Talks in Mali” in a press statement. On 25 June the Council was briefed by Special Representative Albert Koenders (who assumed responsibilities as head of MINUSMA in Barnako on 4 June) as well as Hervé Ladsous and Ameerah Haq, respectively the heads of peacekeeping and field support. Following this briefing, Council members decided that the transfer of authority from AFISMA to MINUSMA would proceed on 1 July.
On 13 May, the Secretary-General informed the Council of his intention to appoint Albert Koenders his new Special Representative and head of MINUSMA.
On 3 April Council members discussed in consultations the options for a UN mission in Mali. On 25 April the Council adopted resolution 2100 after three rounds of negotiations, establishing the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) to take over from the African-led International Support Mission in Mali. The resolution authorised a force structure of 11,200 military personnel and 1,440 police personnel.
In a 7 March letter the AU Peace and Security Council communicated its desire for the new UN operation to have a peace enforcement mandate. On 10 March, the UN sent an exploratory mission to Mali, headed by Edmond Mulet, the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping, to explore options for a UN mission. On 18 March, Council members were briefed in consultations by OCHA head, Valerie Amos, who stressed that impartiality of humanitarian work and protection of civilians must be a top priority in the UN involvement in Mali. On 27 March, Council members were briefed in consultations by Tayé-Brook Zerihoun, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, on the Secretary-General’s report which included two options for a UN mission in Mali. The first one envisaged strengthening the current multidimensional presence in Bamako and transforming it into an integrated political presence with a better-resourced AFISMA. AFISMA would transition to a UN stabilisation mission once certain critical benchmarks were met. The second option proposed an integrated stabilisation mission with a military strength of 11,200 under Chapter VII alongside a parallel force to conduct counterterrorism operations beyond the scope of the UN’s mandate. On 29 March, the interim Foreign Minister of Mali, Tiéman Coulibaly, noted a preference for the second option in a letter to the Secretary-General. Along the same lines, Kadré Désiré Ouedraogo, President of ECOWAS, had asked in a 26 March letter to the Secretary-General that AFISMA be transformed into a robust UN stabilisation mission working alongside a parallel force with the capacity to “dislodge any regrouped terrorists or insurgents”.
On 5 February in Brussels, the Support and Follow-up Group on the Situation in Mali held its third meeting with high-level representatives from the EU, AU, UN and ECOWAS. On 6 February, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Tayé-Brook Zerihoun briefed Council members in consultations on political developments on the ground and the progress in setting up a UN office in Bamako. France provided an update on Opération Serval and there were some initial discussions about the idea of a future UN peacekeeping mission in Mali. On 27 February, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman briefed Council members in consultations, reportedly regarding the 12 February request from Mali’s interim President Dioncounda Traoré regarding the rapid deployment of AFISMA to restore state authority and sovereignty prior to AFISMA’s possible transformation into a UN stabilisation and peacekeeping operation. Mali’s request was was supported by a 28 February ECOWAS communiqué.
On 10 January, Council members met in consultations to discuss a request by Mali’s interim government for French assistance and issued a press statement condemning the movements and attacks by terrorist and extremist groups in the northern Mali as constituting a threat to international peace and security. On 11 January, France launched Opération Serval attacking the rebels’ positions. On 14 and 22 January, Feltman provided the Council with a detailed updates on the latest developments in Mali, including on the Secretary-General’s 20 January letter detailing funding and logistical support options for AFISMA. On 25 January, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in West Africa, Said Djinnit, briefed the Council on recent developments in West Africa, focusing on Mali. The overall terrorism threat in the region has heightened, Djinnit said, adding that refugee flows from Mali as a humanitarian as well as a potential security issue. Seperately, On 18 January, Council members issued a press statement condemning a deadly hostage situation at the In Amenas natural gas facility in Algeria, which began on 16 January (SC/10887). Terrorists claiming to be affiliated to the Islamist militants operating in northern Mali occupied the facility and held hundreds of people hostage. About 37 hostages were killed before and during an assault on the facility by Algerian forces in an attempt to free them. Though the hostage-takers claimed that they were acting in reaction to the emergency military intervention by France in Mali, Council members did not draw the connection in the press statement. On 17 January, the ICC Prosecutor opened investigations into war crimes in Mali.
On 5 December, DPA head Jeffrey Feltman briefed the Council on the Secretary-General’s report warning that the security situation in northern Mali continued to deteriorate, with foreign jihadists and terrorist elements arriving to join the armed groups. On 10 December soldiers loyal to the 22 March coup leader, Captain Amadou Sanogo, arrested interim Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra, forcing him to resign. On 11 December the Council condemned the arrest of Diarra and urged the interim president to swiftly reappoint a national unity government. On 13 December, the Secretary-General set out three options for UN logistical and funding support for an African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA). On 20 December, the Council adopted resolution 2085 under Chapter VII authorising the deployment of AFISMA for an initial period of one year.
On 28 November, the Secretary-General submitted a report to the Council detailing the concept of operations for an African-led International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA). The planning for AFISMA was endorsed by the African Union on 14 November and on 11 November ECOWAS announced its plan to deploy 3,300 troops to support the mission.
On 12 October, the Council met and unanimously passed resolution 2071 welcoming the appointment of Romano Prodi as the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to the Sahel and expressing its readiness to respond positively to a request from Mali regarding an intervention force to assist the Malian armed forces to reclaim the northern half of the country pending a report by the Secretary-General on the military planning for such an intervention—due in late November. The resolution requested the Secretary General to provide military planners to work with ECOWAS and devise a plan for the deployment of troops from ECOWAS, which on 18 September had been asked by Malian authorities to send in troops to help them retake the north. After the resolution was adopted, the representatives of Mali and Côte d’Ivoire, as chair of ECOWAS, made statements thanking the Council for its support.
On Mali, the statement noted the request by the interim government for ECOWAS assistance and took note of that organisation’s ongoing strategic planning efforts. The statement also stressed the need for ECOWAS to coordinate with the interim government, regional and international organisations, other Sahel countries and bilateral partners to prepare detailed options regarding the deployment of a regional force in Mali. The press statement followed a 17 September briefing by DPA head Jeffrey Feltman to the Council. Ambassador Youssoufou Bamba (Côte d’Ivoire) also made a statement on behalf of ECOWAS at the briefing. (ECOWAS held an emergency meeting on Mali on 14 and 15 September.)
On 8 August, the Council was briefed by the Secretary-General and the ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs for Peace and Security. The Council was also updated on the ongoing strategic planning efforts following the request for a Security Council mandate authorising the deployment of an ECOWAS stabilisation force. On 10 August, Council members issued a press statement encouraging ECOWAS to prepare detailed options for the objectives, means and modalities of the proposed regional stabilisation force.
On 5 July, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2056, expressing its full support for the joint efforts of ECOWAS, the AU and the transitional authorities to attempt to re-establish constitutionality and the territorial integrity of Mali. The resolution declared the Council’s readiness to consider backing a military deployment in Mali as proposed by ECOWAS “once additional information has been provided regarding the objectives, means and modalities of the envisaged deployment and other possible measures.” Meanwhile, ECOWAS deployed a Technical Assessment Mission from 7-18 July to assess the feasibility of deploying troops in Mali and on 25-26 July, the ECOWAS Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff held an emergency meeting on Mali in Abidjan to consider the report of the TAM, which would later have to be endorsed by the Heads of State of ECOWAS. In the meantime, the Justice Minister in the transitional government formally requested on 18 July that the International Criminal Court investigate atrocities being committed by the various Islamists and rebel groups in the north of the country. In a resolution on the situation of human rights in Mali, the Human Rights Council condemned human rights violations and acts of violence committed in northern Mali by the rebels, terrorist groups and organised transnational crime networks.
On 18 June, the Council issued a press statement taking note of the request by ECOWAS for the Council to authorise the deployment of a “stabilisation force” in Mali and expressing Council members’ readiness to further examine the request “once additional information has been provided regarding the objectives, means and modalities of the envisaged deployment and other possible measures.” An informal interactive meeting on Mali, requested by Togo, was held on 15 June in New York between Council members and representatives of the AU PSC and ECOWAS. The Foreign Minister of Burkina Faso, Djibrill Yipènè Bassolé, who is leading ECOWAS’ mediation efforts on Mali, provided an update on his efforts and requested a mandate from the Council for the planned ECOWAS military deployment in Mali. On 13 June, at the sixth consultative meeting between the two councils, Mali was prominently discussed. A communiqué issued at the close of the meeting acknowledged “the efforts of ECOWAS to explore options to restore peace and security in Mali in the context of upholding its territorial integrity.” The previous day, the AU Peace and Security Council meeting in New York had issued a communiqué calling on the Security Council “as a matter of urgency” to “endorse the envisaged deployment of an ECOWAS force [in Mali] and to lend its full support to the efforts being exerted to this end.”
On 6 April, ECOWAS brokered a framework agreement resulting in the military junta’s promise to give up power in return for an amnesty and the lifting of the sanctions ECOWAS had imposed. The junta also agreed to a timetable for a return to constitutional rule and elections.
On 26 March, the Council issued a presidential statement expressing “serious concern” about the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in the region “which is further complicated by the presence of armed groups and terrorist groups.” On 22 March, the Council issued a press statement condemning the forcible seizure of power and calling for the “immediate restoration” of the deposed government. That day, young officers led by Captain Amadou Sanogo had overthrew the civilian government of President Amadou Toumani Touré, ahead of presidential elections scheduled for 29 April in which Touré was not participating.