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 (S/2015/219) 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 (S/PV.7425). 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 2 April, at the request of the UK, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Myanmar, Vijay Nambiar, briefed Council members in consultations under “any other business”. (Nambiar’s last such briefing was on 17 April 2014, also at the request of the UK.) Nambiar acknowledged recent positive developments such as continuing progress in the reform process and the 31 March nationwide ceasefire between ethnic armed groups and the government, but also noted continuing challenges in Rakhine state, increasing violence in Kachin and Northern Shan states and concerns about the human rights situation. Some Council members also participated in a meeting of the Partnership Group on Myanmar on 24 April.
On 7 April, Council members issued a press statement condemning recent attacks by Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria and Chad (SC/11852). The statement also urged, ahead of a planned summit between the Economic Community of West African States and the Economic Community of Central African States, for the two regional organisations to develop a common strategy and develop active cooperation and coordination to more effectively combat the Boko Haram threat.
In a 13 April press statement, Council members condemned an attack that same day against a MINUSTAH vehicle which killed a Chilean peacekeeper (SC/11858). The statement also noted that they looked forward to a full and comprehensive investigation of the incident.
On 14 April, the Council was briefed (S/PV.7427) by the Special Representative Babacar Gaye on the latest MINUSCA report (S/2015/227). On 28 April, the Council adopted resolution 2217, renewing MINUSCA’s mandate at current authorised troop levels until 30 April 2016.
Women, Peace and Security
On 15 April, Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zainab Bangura briefed the Security Council ahead of its annual open debate on the annual report on conflict-related sexual violence (S/2015/203). She reported that 2014 was marked by harrowing accounts of sexual violence in the context of violent extremism, with particular focus on Boko Haram and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (S/PV.7428). Jordan had circulated a concept note earlier in the month in preparation for the debate (S/2015/243).
On 16 April, the Council met with MINURSO troop-contributing countries. On 22 April, Council members were briefed in consultations by Special Representative Kim Bolduc on the most recent MINURSO report (S/2015/246) and by Special Envoy Christopher Ross. On 28 April, the Council adopted resolution 2218, extending the mandate of MINURSO until 30 April 2016.
On 16 April, Council members were briefed in consultations by Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Tayé-Brook Zerihoun on recent developments in Burundi. On 17 April, Council members issued a press statement, stressing that the government and political opposition should refrain from any acts of violence and intimidation before, during and after the upcoming elections (SC/11864). Council members further noted their intention to follow closely and to respond to any actions in Burundi that threaten the peace, security or stability of Burundi. On 29 April, Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Said Djinnit was expected to brief Council members under “any other business” via video teleconference from Bujumbura on the situation.
On 21 April, Jordanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Judeh presided over the Council’s quarterly open debate on the Middle East (S/PV.7430). Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon briefed. Ban urged the incoming Israeli government to reaffirm commitment to the two-state solution and take credible steps to foster an environment conducive to meaningful negotiations, including a freeze of settlement activity. He also welcomed an agreement reached to allow the transfer of more than $470 million in tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority and called for progress in Palestinian reconciliation and alleviation of the humanitarian situation in Gaza. Ban also expressed concern that clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinians continued in the West Bank. In their interventions, speakers agreed on the urgency of resolving the conflict through a two-state solution and called for action on the part of the Council, including possibly through a resolution to move negotiated progress forward. Most speakers also called for an end to settlement activities in the West Bank and for alleviating the situation in Gaza. Many also stressed the need to ensure Israel’s security. On 28 April, under “any other business”, Council members discussed the 27 April letter from the Secretary-General that transmitted a summary of the findings of the UN Board of Inquiry into a number of incidents that occurred in Gaza and southern Israel between 8 July and 26 August 2014, affecting or involving UN personnel, premises and operations.
On 22 April, Ambassador Cristián Barros (Chile), chair of the 1572 Côte d’Ivoire Sanctions Committee, briefed the Council (S/PV.7431). He discussed the final report of the Group of Experts (S/2015/252) as well as the proceedings of a 1572 Sanctions Committee meeting on 10 April. A representative of Côte d’Ivoire, Ambassador Bafitigue Ouattara, also spoke during the briefing, which was followed by consultations among Council members. On 28 April, the Council adopted resolution 2219 renewing sanctions measures (partial arms embargo, travel ban and asset freeze) until 30 April 2016 and renewing the mandate of the Group of Experts until 30 May 2016.
On 23 April, the Council convened a high-level open debate on “the role of youth in countering violent extremism and promoting peace,” chaired by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdulla II of Jordan (S/PV.7432). Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon briefed alongside Peter R. Neumann, Director of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence at King’s College and Scott Atran, Director of Research in Anthropology at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris. Several speakers highlighted the importance of addressing socio-economic exclusion, amplifying local alternative narratives and providing youth with opportunities. Jordan had circulated a concept note earlier in the month in preparation for the debate (S/2015/231).
On 28 April, Special Coordinator for Lebanon Terje Rød-Larsen briefed Council members in consultations on the latest report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of resolution 1559 (S/2015/258). In his report, the Secretary-General expressed his disappointment at the lack of tangible progress towards the implementation of the remaining provisions of resolution 1559 and that Lebanon continues to face challenges to its stability and security, both internally and along its borders with Syria. He also reiterated that Hezbollah’s maintenance of sizeable and sophisticated military capabilities outside the control of the government remains a matter of grave concern and condemned the continued violation of the sovereignty of Lebanon, including cross-border incidents in which civilians and members of the Lebanese Armed Forces have been killed or injured on the Lebanese side of the border because of the actions of warring parties in Syria.