On Tuesday, June 29, the UN Security Council extended its mission of peacekeepers in Mali until June 30, 2022, insisting on a return of power to civilians and the holding of general elections on February 27. A resolution to this effect, drafted by France, was adopted unanimously. It provides for the Minusma to be renewed with its current strength, ie a maximum of 13,289 soldiers and 1,920 police officers.
After announcing the end of its “Barkhane” mission in the Sahel, France had hoped to be able to increase the strength of the Minusma by a few thousand peacekeepers, but the deadline for the end of the mission, on June 30, was too soon to allow. get a green light from the US Congress for additional UN spending in Mali.
The resolution requests a report from the UN Secretary General by July 15, “In view of the growing insecurity and physical violence against civilians in central Mali”, with recommendations on a possible strengthening of the Minusma. The text also asks the Malian transitional government to organize in February “A free and fair presidential election”, as well as a constitutional referendum, legislative elections and regional and local elections.
Finally, the resolution recalls that “The head of the transition, the vice-president and the prime minister of the transition can in no case be candidates for the presidential election to come”. The French ambassador to the UN, Nicolas de Rivière, said the resolution included “Strong messages regarding the Malian political transition and the holding of elections on February 27, 2022”. “The organization of this election is an absolute priority”, he stressed.
Since 2012 and the outbreak of independence and jihadist rebellions in the north, Mali has been plunged into a multifaceted turmoil that has left thousands dead, civilians and combatants. In less than a year, this country has experienced two military coups.