Ambassador Kelly Craft
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
August 31, 2020
AS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD
The United States is deeply concerned about the recent developments in Mali and is monitoring the situation there closely. Although we have been made aware of reports of President Keita’s release, we call on the mutinous officers to immediately release the other officials they have extrajudicially detained in good health and to pave the way toward a peaceful and productive return to constitutional order. If Malian officials are released from detention, but continue to face implied threats and intimidation, then clearly the constitutional order is not being respected.
The United States is deeply troubled by the patterns of instability emerging in Mali. While we are encouraged by regional and international efforts to restore order, these efforts may not bear fruit unless all participants agree to protect human rights and the rule of law.
We urge all Malian stakeholders to work toward a restoration of constitutional government. We urge all stakeholders in Mali to engage in peaceful dialogue, to respect Malians’ rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, and to reject violence.
When this Council established the 2374 sanctions regime three years ago, we fully expected that it would send the people of Mali a strong signal that the international community is invested in bringing about lasting peace and security in their country, and in holding accountable those who thwart that peace. The United States stands with the Malian people and our partners in support of the Algiers Accord, and calls on all parties to fully implement it without delay.
We voted to adopt this resolution today because we are deeply committed to the goals that shaped this mandate, and chief among them is accountability. However, while our support for the 2374 sanctions regime remains firm, we are disappointed that the Council failed to seize this opportunity to further strengthen this mandate.
We are disappointed that we were unable to agree on the key role human rights abuses play in perpetuating the cycle of violence in Mali, and to highlight the important role of MINUSMA in protecting the Panel of Experts while they are on the ground in Mali.
However, we are encouraged by the progress that has been made since the Security Council first adopted Resolution 2374 in 2017, but we all have much more work to do. The events that unfolded in Mali just a few weeks ago make this very clear and should spark a sense of urgency in all of us. Rest assured that the United States is watching the situation in Mali closely, and that we will continue working with our partners to find a durable solution to this crisis. The Malian people deserve nothing less.
We stand ready to use all tools available, especially this sanctions regime, to marginalize those who stand in the way of that goal. Furthermore, if strong action is warranted to marginalize spoilers, but we don’t find a way forward in this body to take those actions, the United States will not hesitate to use our domestic sanctions authorities, and look to our partners to join us in taking decisive action.