Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing on the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA)

Rodney Hunter
Political Coordinator
U.S. Mission to the United Nations

New York City
January 16, 2019


Thank you Mr. President, thank you Assistant Secretary-General Keita for your briefing today. I would also like to thank Foreign Minister Camara for participating in today’s meeting.

Sadly, this has been a very difficult reporting period for MINUSMA. Over the past three months, the mission saw two peacekeepers killed and 42 injured and three MINUSMA contractors killed and nine injured. This is a sobering reminder to those of us in this chamber that MINUSMA remains the most dangerous peacekeeping mission in the world. The United States recognizes the risks the soldiers and civilians of MINUSMA face and we pay tribute to those who have paid the ultimate price and to all the soldiers, civilians, and their families who sacrifice daily to bring peace and stability to the people of Mali.

In addition to these attacks against the UN mission, we continue to witness heinous acts of violence against civilians and security forces, especially in the center of the country. The United States strongly condemns the terrorist groups and the so-called “self-defense” groups for this growing violence. While we welcome the government’s efforts to address the deteriorating security situation in the center, we call on the Government of Mali and MINUSMA to hasten their efforts to protect civilians, work to end intercommunal conflict, and to quickly hold accountable and bring to justice those responsible for these violent acts.

Mr. President, every civilian, peacekeeper, and security force member killed and injured underscores the need to fully implement the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali and to swiftly implement the provisions of resolution 2423 (2018). The United States recognizes some progress has been made since the presidential elections last summer. We commend the establishment of 10 district-level interim administrations and greater coordination between the government and the signatory parties. We also commend the accelerated disarmament, demobilization, reintegration, and integration process of the Operational Coordination Mechanism elements in Gao, Kidal, and Timbuktu. However, we understand there have been some issues regarding living conditions and next steps for these units. We look forward to hearing more about the Government of Mali’s plans for utilizing the newly integrated armed group fighters to secure northern Mali.

We are frustrated and disappointed that more is not being done to quickly implement the provisions specified in paragraph 4 of resolution 2423 (2018). In October, we made very clear that resolution 2423 demands that signatory parties must show significant progress or face changes to MINUSMA after the expiration of the mandate. We repeat that today. There is more to be done.

Thank you.