Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing on the Situation in Mali

Ambassador Kelly Craft
Permanent Representative
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
October 8, 2020


Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you, Special Representative Annadif, for your briefing and for your leadership and your team’s during this political crisis in Mali. And it is especially great to see the ambassador here today, so thank you for being here.

ECOWAS and MINUSMA leadership have played vital roles in stabilizing the political situation created by the August 18 overthrow of Mali’s elected president. The United States condemned these actions and immediately halted our security assistance in Mali in response. Since August, progress has been made to return to constitutional order, but let me stress: the establishment of a transitional government in Mali is only the first step. We urge the transitional government to honor all of its commitments to ECOWAS. The Security Council should be prepared to use the tools available to us should the transitional government fail to uphold its commitments.

We will not accept military control over civilian authorities, delays to elections, or elections that are not credible. Former officials and all others detained without judicial process must be released. Free and fair elections must be held within 18 months. Elections must also include the full, effective, and meaningful participation of women, internally-displaced peoples and refugees, youth populations, and marginalized northern groups.

The central provisions of the Algiers Accord remain relevant to Mali’s long-term stability and that of the region. The transitional government must adhere to its commitment to move implementation of the framework forward and we hope to see continued regional engagement, including by ECOWAS. We also expect the transitional government to ensure greater meaningful participation of women at all levels of processes and institutions that support and monitor implementation of the Algiers Accord.

We remind all actors that obstructing or delaying implementation of the agreement is grounds for listing by the UN’s Mali Sanctions Committee pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 2374. We urge MINUSMA to continue its support for and cooperation with the 2374 Committee and the Panel of Experts.

Colleagues, recent events clearly indicate further need to address Mali’s long-standing governance shortcomings. The transitional government will need to follow through on its commitments to improve governance and to support Mali on its path toward democratic rule and sustainable peace. Malian citizens must believe that their government is legitimate, equitable, and willing to meet their needs. This means ensuring justice and accountability for human rights violations and abuses committed by security forces. Absent this commitment, no degree of international engagement is likely to succeed.

Now more than ever we recognize MINUSMA’s vital role in protecting civilians and stabilizing the country. We look forward to MINUSMA helping Mali hold free and fair elections and supporting the transitional government to achieve its stated goals, including fully implementing the Algiers Accord, and extending the rule of law. We expect further progress in the mission’s protection work in the center, especially responding to early warnings with specific protection for women and children. We also expect MINUSMA to continue its efforts to facilitate the return of state presence, state authority, and basic social services in the Center, which are key to the mission’s long-term exit strategy.

Finally, allow me stress that the United States remains a steadfast partner of the Malian people. The U.S. Special Envoy for the Sahel visited Bamako last week to underscore this point with the new authorities, as well as to signal our continuing partnership with the Malian people. Two weeks ago, Secretary Pompeo announced nearly $152 million to help people displaced by conflict in the Sahel, of which approximately $54 million is for Mali.

Thank you.