August 2019 Monthly Forecast

Posted 31 July 2019
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AFRICA

Mali

Expected Council Action

In August, the Council is due to renew the Mali sanctions regime, which expires on 31 August, as well as the mandate of the Panel of Experts, which expires on 30 September.

The mandate of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) expires on 30 June 2020.

Key Recent Developments

On 28 June, the Council adopted resolution 2480 renewing MINUSMA’s mandate. While the mission’s primary strategic priority remains to support the implementation of the 2015 Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali, this resolution created a second strategic priority for MINUSMA focused on the situation in the centre of Mali. In particular, MINUSMA is “to facilitate the implementation of a comprehensive politically-led Malian strategy to protect civilians, reduce intercommunal violence, and re-establish State authority, State presence and basic social services in Central Mali”.

Council members have grown increasingly concerned about the deterioration of the security situation beyond the north, which was the initial geographic focus of the mission. In late March, the Council’s visiting mission to Mali coincided with the massacre of 160 Fulani civilians, including women and children, in the village of Ogossagou in central Mali, reportedly by Dogon armed elements (Dozos). Since then, there has been a spate of intercommunal attacks, some retaliatory in nature.

Frustrated by the limited implementation of the 2015 peace and reconciliation agreement, in resolution 2480, the Council specified the progress it is expecting to see in the next year. The identified areas are: constitutional reform; decentralisation; security sector reform; development of the north; and the full, effective and meaningful participation of women.

Sanctions remain one of the critical tools at the disposal of the Council. The resolution expressed the Council’s intention to respond with sanctions should these priority measures not be implemented by the end of MINUSMA’s mandate in June 2020. Although progress on the implementation of the agreement has been slow, the resolution recognised some positive results over the last year as a result of “some level of political will and international pressure, including through the prospect of sanctions”. The resolution also stressed that listed individuals shall not benefit from any financial, operational or logistical support from UN entities deployed in Mali.

Resolution 2374, unanimously adopted on 5 September 2017, established a targeted sanctions regime on Mali, including the possibility of imposing a travel ban and assets freeze on individuals and entities engaged in actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, or stability of Mali. On 20 December 2018, the 2374 Mali Sanctions Committee imposed a travel ban on three individuals. On 10 July 2019 five additional individuals were banned from travel. The listings were proposed by France and were based on statements included in a confidential annex to reports prepared by the Panel of Experts. Listed individuals include members of the Coordination and Platform coalitions of armed groups and a member of Parliament from the ruling political party. In deciding to list them, the committee highlighted the involvement of some of these individuals in activities to destabilise Mali, including activities funded by organised crime. In August, the committee is expected to consider the final report of the Panel of Experts.

Regarding the joint force of the Group of Five for the Sahel (FC-G5S), resolution 2480 expressed the Council’s support for the provision by MINUSMA of “life support consumables”, such as rations and fuel, to all FC-G5S battalions on the condition that the joint force or other partners deliver this support outside Mali and that units receiving such assistance are in strict compliance with the UN human rights due diligence policy. This signals a change from resolution 2391 of 8 December 2017, according to which MINUSMA could support only those FC-G5S forces operating on Malian territory (two of the force’s seven battalions).

Key Issues and Options

Following the renewal of MINUSMA’s mandate with the addition of a second strategic priority regarding the centre, the challenge will be to implement this mandate while continuing to devote close attention to the north, without additional troops, and with fewer resources than those originally proposed by the Secretary-General to the Fifth Committee.

Council members could continue bilaterally to pursue ways of increasing pressure on the parties to advance the implementation of the agreement. In pushing for progress in the priority areas identified in resolution 2480, Council members are likely to be mindful that these developments depend as much or more on the engagement and good faith of the parties as on the mission itself.

As the sanctions committee considers additional designations or delisting requests, making sure that sanctions are having the intended effect and changing the behaviour of spoilers, as opposed to further alienating them, is a related issue.

Council Dynamics

During the negotiations on resolution 2480, France proposed to include as an annex to the draft new designations to the 2374 sanctions list. Several Council members maintain that designations should be addressed through procedures in the sanctions committee, and expressed a preference that designations not be tied to the adoption of the MINUSMA mandate. France accepted this request and proposed the designations at the committee level.

As Council members negotiated the resolution, there were some discussions about distinguishing between “primary” and “second” strategic priorities or having two strategic priorities of equal significance, but in the end this distinction remained in resolution 2480.

France is the penholder on Mali and Ambassador José Singer Weisinger (Dominican Republic) chairs the 2374 Mali Sanctions Committee.

UN DOCUMENTS ON MALI

Security Council Resolutions
28 June 2019S/RES/2480 The Council renewed the mandate of MINUSCA until 30 June 2020.
30 August 2018S/RES/2432 The Council renewed the targeted sanctions regime on Mali—travel ban and assets freeze—and the mandate of the 2374 Mali Sanctions Committee’s Panel of Experts.
Security Council Meeting Records
28 June 2019S/PV.8568 This was the meeting at which resolution 2480 was adopted.
12 June 2019S/PV.8547 The Council was briefed on developments in Mali by Mahamat Saleh Annadif, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of MINUSMA.
Sanctions Committee Documents
21 February 2019S/2019/137 This was the Panel of Experts’ midterm report on its work.