Press Statement on Mali Under Silence Procedure
Following recent developments in Mali over the weekend, today(10 April)France has circulated a draft press statement which apparently welcomes the 6 April Framework Agreement on the restoration of constitutional order in Mali and expresses support for the efforts made by regional groups since the takeover of the government by military officers on 22 March. The press statement is under silence procedure until this evening.
On Friday (6 April) consultations between the Mali military junta and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) resulted in the signing of the Framework Agreement. As part of the deal, the military officers agreed to give up power in return for an amnesty deal and a lifting of sanctions. The junta agreed to a timetable for a return to constitutional rule and elections with the speaker of parliament, Dioncounda Traoré, as new interim President, ruling with a transitional government until elections are held.
However there are serious concerns about the situation in the three northern regions of Mali (Gao, Kidal, Timbuktu) which have been taken over by Tuareg rebels. Council members are particularly concerned about reports that within the rebel group are members of Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and possibly Nigeria’s Boko Haram group. It is likely that members may wish to include references to the situation in northern Mali and the recent abduction of Algerian diplomats in the draft press statement.
Although a number of Council members have welcomed the signing of the Framework Agreement, at press time it was unclear if all members were comfortable with being able to agree on the press statement by today.