UNITED NATIONS, June 30 (Xinhua) — The United Nations Security Council on Friday adopted a resolution to end the mandate of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) as of June 30.
It also requested the mission to immediately start on July 1 the cessation of its operations, transfer of its tasks, as well as the orderly and safe drawdown and withdrawal of its personnel, with the objective of completing this process by Dec. 31, 2023. Resolution 2690 was adopted unanimously by the 15-member council. It asked the UN secretary-general to engage with the Malian government to articulate a plan for the transfer of MINUSMA’s tasks, and present it to the Security Council by Aug. 15.
The resolution also called on the Malian government to cooperate fully with the United Nations during MINUSMA’s drawdown, withdrawal and liquidation to ensure the orderly and safe withdrawal of the mission. Until Sept. 30, “acting within its means and capabilities in its immediate vicinity,” MINUSMA is authorized to respond to imminent threats of violence to civilians and contribute to the safe civilian-led delivery of humanitarian assistance, it said.
The resolution decided that until its final departure, MINUSMA is authorized to fulfil functions including to provide security for UN personnel, facilities, convoys, installations and equipment and associated personnel, and to execute operations in order to extract UN personnel and humanitarian workers in danger. MINUSMA was established by Security Council resolution 2100 in April 2013 to support political processes in Mali and carry out a number of security-related tasks.
By adopting resolution 2164 in June 2014, the Security Council further decided that the mission should focus on duties such as ensuring security, stabilization and protection of civilians. A key principle of the UN peacekeeping is that operations are deployed with the consent of the host country and other main parties to the conflict.
Speaking at a Security Council briefing on June 16, Malian foreign minister Abdoulaye Diop asked for the withdrawal, without delay, of MINUSMA. While paying tribute to all the peacekeepers, he noted that the reasons leading to the mission’s establishment in 2013 were to stabilize threats in the north of Mali. Diop said security had worsened in other areas, such as the country’s center, adding that the mission has not achieved its main work.
The mission has become a part of the problem and is creating distrust among civilians, he said. In the resolution on terminating MINUSMA’s mandate, Security Council members commended the efforts made since 2013 by the mission, paying tribute to MINUSMA personnel who gave their lives, and expressing deep appreciation for the contribution and dedication of the troop and police contributing countries to the work of the mission.
In an explanation of vote, Zhang Jun, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations, said historical experience has proven that peacekeeping operations must follow the basic principles developed in practice of a long period of time, in particular the principle of consent of the countries concerned. “Missions should maintain communication with the governments of the countries concerned and keep a relationship of mutual trust and cooperation, which is a prerequisite for smooth peacekeeping operations,” he said.
China expects the international community to pay attention to the practical difficulties and needs faced by Mali and other countries in the region, and continue to provide assistance and support on the basis of respect for the sovereignty and leadership of the countries concerned, said Zhang.
Since 2013 when China began its involvement in the UN peacekeeping operations in Mali, Chinese peacekeepers have faithfully fulfilled the peacekeeping mission despite all difficulties and dangers, and contributed Chinese efforts to the maintenance of peace and stability in the country, he noted.
“China will continue to support Mali in safeguarding its sovereignty, territorial integrity and national security, and make more contributions to its peaceful development via multilateral and bilateral channels,” the envoy said.