Security Council press statement on Mali and the Sahel as read out by Security Council President Ambassador Wittig
Last Monday 17 September 2012, the members of the Security Council were briefed on the situation in the Sahel region, including Mali, by the United Nations Under-Secretary General for political affairs, Mr Jeffrey Feltman.
The members of the Security Council reiterate their grave concern about the continuing deterioration of the security and humanitarian situation in the North of Mali and the increasing entrenchment of terrorist elements including Al-Qaida in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and affiliated groups. They urge all Malian rebel groups to cut off all ties to AQIM and affiliated groups. They express their grave concern about the violations of human rights perpetrated by rebel and extremist groups in the North of Mali.
The members of the Security Council welcome the appointment of a Government of National Unity in Mali. They express their support to the work of the Interim president of Mali, Traoré and call on the Transitional authorities to continue ongoing efforts towards the strengthening of democratic institutions and the restoration of constitutional order in the Republic of Mali through the holding of elections by the end of the transition. They repeat their demand that all members of Malian armed forces cease immediately any interference in the work of the Transitional authorities, they take note of the decisions and recommendation by ECOWAS to adopt targeted sanctions in Mali and further reserve the right to consider appropriate measures as necessary.
The members of the Security Council, recognizing the efforts of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to mediate with Malian rebel groups, who dissociate themselves from AQIM and other terrorist groups, urge all parties, including the Interim Government of Mali, to intensify such efforts in order to seek a sustainable political solution, mindful of the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Mali.
The members of the Security Council take note of the Interim Malian Government request for assistance to ECOWAS. They further take note of the ongoing strategic planning efforts of ECOWAS and stress the need for ECOWAS to coordinate with the Interim Government of Mali, African Union and Sahel countries, bilateral partners and international organizations including the European Union, with the support of the Secretary General of the United Nations, in order to prepare detailed options regarding the objectives, means and modalities of the deployment of a regional force in Mali. They express their readiness to consider a feasible and actionable proposal from ECOWAS addressing such a request from the Interim Malian Government.
The members of the Security Council welcome the progress made in developing a United Nations Integrated strategy for the Sahel, pursuant to Resolution 2056 (2012). They note the importance of international coordination and express their firm hope that the Secretary General will encourage the United Nations system to deliver as one in the Sahel region, while strengthening international and regional cooperation. They take note of the UN's ongoing efforts to finalise the Integrated Strategy for the Sahel through a consultative process, in particular with countries of the region, and encourage the rapid conclusion of the drafting process.
The members of the Security Council look forward to the development of a strategic document and proposals of adequate mechanisms for coordinated implementation of the integrated strategy for the Sahel. In this context, they welcome the organization of a High-Level Meeting on the Sahel convened by the Secretary General on 26 September as a first opportunity to present the outline of that strategy, generate international support for its implementation and agree the principles for more effective and regional and international coordination.
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