The Malian authorities are moving along the path of political transition and institutional reform while combating terrorism and other insecurities, interim Prime Minister Abdoulaye Maïga said in his speech to the UN General Assembly on Saturday.
The process to restore civilian rule after the August 2020 military coup in the West African country will conclude in March 2024, when power is transferred to elected authorities.
“I am pleased to underline that some significant progress has already been made,” he said, referring to the approval of the electoral law, the establishment of an electoral management authority and the creation of a commission to draft a new constitution.
Fight against terrorism Turning to insecurity, Mr. Maïga said that Mali is the only country in the world that simultaneously faces terrorism, conflicts between communities, cross-border organized crime and violent acts by isolated individuals.
"Along with our return to constitutional order, Mali continues to fight tirelessly against this insecurity and particularly against the extremist groups that are responsible for all kinds of abuses against our peaceful people," he reported.
Mr. Maïga said that terrorist groups “have been severely weakened”, although he added that “these criminal groups can still cause harm to some extent in their desperate attempts to strike a blow at our territorial integrity and terrorize our people”.
Military action, stabilization strategy The Government has intensified efforts to recruit, train, equip and reinforce the national security forces.
An “integrated global strategy” has been designed that includes the provision of social services, while another stabilization strategy for the volatile central region was also recently approved.
He also provided an update on the peace deal to end the unrest that erupted in the north a decade ago, signed by the government and two coalitions of armed groups in 2015.
Following recent meetings, there was a "strong signal" that the parties want to commit to a new dynamic process to achieve its implementation, he reported.
'Paradigm shift' for the UN Mission Mr. Maïga addressed the UN Mission in Mali, known by the French acronym MINUSMAOpens in new window, whose mandate includes ensuring security, protecting civilians, supporting the political dialogue and reconciliation, and assist in the re-establishment of state authority.
He said that the objectives of the Mission have not been achieved after almost 10 years in the country, and despite numerous Security Council resolutionsOpens in new window.
"That is why the Government of Mali reiterates its demand, expressed on numerous occasions, for a paradigm shift and an adaptation of MINUSMA to the environment in which it is deployed, and a better interconnection between this mission and the Malian authorities," he said.
The interim prime minister also criticized France for withdrawing its Barkhane anti-terrorist force from Mali last year, saying "my country was stabbed in the back."
He also accused the "French junta" of violating Malian airspace "by sending aircraft such as drones, military helicopters and fighter jets more than 50 times, carrying information, weapons and ammunition to terrorist groups."
Arrest of Ivorian soldiers At the beginning of his speech, Mr. Maïga criticized the international response to the arrest of 49 soldiers from neighboring Côte d'Ivoire who entered Mali in July. The troops were part of the logistical support operations in MINUSMA, according to the Ivorian authorities.
(SOURCE: https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/08/1124692) Mali said the soldiers arrived there without permission and are considered mercenaries.
Three have since been released.
Mr. Maiga expressed his profound disagreement with the statements made by the UN Secretary General, Antônio Guterres, published in the media.
“Clearly, the judicial nature of the infractions around this matter are not the purview of the Secretary-General of the United Nations,” he said.
He also spoke out against statements made by the head of the West African bloc ECOWAS, President Umaro Sissoco Embalo of Guinea-Bissau, and Niger's President Mohamed Bazoum.
“We ask those who deny our version to ask if they would accept that military personnel, having concealed their identity by saying in their passports that they were painters or masons, arrived at their airport with weapons without being informed in the country of destination.
forward, with the idea of destabilizing the country,” he said.
Burkinabé peacekeeper receives UN Woman Police Officer of the Year award Burkinabé peacekeeper receives UN Woman Police Officer of the Year awardAward By Busayo Onijala Lagos, Aug. 31 Chief Warrant Officer Alizeta Kinda of the Burkina Faso National Police has received the United Nations Police Officer of the Year award.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the award is given yearly, to a woman police officer currently serving in a United Nations peace operation for exceptional performance.
The award, which was presented to Kinda on Wednesday, on the sidelines of the third UN Chiefs of Police Summit (UNCOPS), was co-sponsored by the Permanent Missions of Canada and Norway.
It was monitored by NAN via the UNWebTV.
Mr Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations said the award was granted to Kinda for her service to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
According to him, MINUSMA is one of the difficult and dangerous missions.
Lacroix said it was a mission in which it was often very difficult to reach women and girls to give support and information regarding their rights in order for them to become better aware of their needs.
“Chief Warrant Officer Kinda and her team have devoted themselves to this difficult task by organizing, as it was, information sharing sessions, that allowed them to reach more than 1000 women.
“Her efforts were very important to create an environment of trust that allowed victims to find themselves or feel that they could trust in the process that allowed them obtain support.
” Lacroix noted that the Women, Peace and Security Agenda stressed the need to accelerate efforts to achieve gender parity,.
He said that achieving parity was not about just numbers but mostly about enabling women and men to have a fully equal and meaningful role in the workplace.
“By serving as a role model, and as a leader for her fellow police officers and members of the community, Officer Kinda is really an inspiration to all of us and her work shows what can be accomplished when we support and empower women police officers,” Lacroix said.
NAN also reports that Kinda currently serves as a gender focal point with MINUSMA.
Her efforts to promote and improve understanding of gender, child protection and human rights issues in Menaka have led to increased reporting of cases of sexual and gender-based violence to the Malian Security Forces.
In her remarks, she expressed gratitude to the UN for recognizing and valuing her work in MINUSMA beyond her expectations.
“I am pleased that despite the terrorist threats, the IED and rocket attacks, the efforts of my colleagues and myself are receiving accolades and I am happy that I have invested in contributing to women’s capacity building.
“During my deployment, I observed that women in Mali did not always feel independent and autonomous, especially in areas outside Bamako, so I set myself the personal goal of changing that.
” According to her, she developed and implemented a project to help 50 local women make and sell eco-friendly bags.
This, she said, allowed them to pay for their children’s school fees, as well as medical expenses, with the support of the Human Rights section.
Kinda noted that together with her colleagues, workshops and conferences were organized for boys and girls to raise awareness on the attitudes and behaviors necessary to be protected from dangers in their daily activities.
“We focused on the importance of keeping girls in the school system in a sustainable manner, the value of joining the ranks of the Malian security forces as well as the harms of early marriage.
“With this knowledge, I sincerely hope that the younger generations of Menaka are better equipped to contribute to the fight against sexual and gender based violence, advocate for the school education of the girl and understand the importance of the presence of women in the Malian security forces.
“This award makes me a UN ambassador for peace and promotion of gender.
I promise to hold the torch high by continuing to honour the UN through my work and my daily commitment,” she said
The United Nations has announced that Warrant Officer Alizeta Kabore Kinda of Burkina Faso will receive the 2022 United Nations Policewoman of the Year Award on August 31, 2022.
The award will be presented during the third United Nations Police Chiefs Summit ( UNCOPS), which will take place at United Nations Headquarters from August 31 to September 1, 2022.
Warrant Officer Kinda serves as a gender focal point with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), where it supports the Malian Security Forces in the Menaka region to promote and improve understanding of gender, child protection, human rights and civil protection issues.
Thanks to her efforts, more victims of sexual and gender-based violence are coming forward to report their cases to local authorities and receive medical care; now three or more per month of none before their arrival.
Her efforts have also focused on increasing the number of girls in schools and reducing early marriage.
“The work of Petty Officer Kinda is a shining example of how the participation of policewomen in peace operations directly impacts the sustainability of peace by helping to bring different perspectives to the table and making our work more inclusive” said Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix.
"Through her actions, she embodies a more representative and efficient police service that is better equipped to serve and protect the public."
Upon receiving the news of her award, Kinda expressed “the hope that it will inspire women and girls around the world to pursue police careers despite the gender stereotypes often associated with the profession: that men are better equipped to do comply with the laws and protect the population.
”“ Petty Officer Kinda has shown creativity and commitment in addressing the specific security needs of the communities she serves,” said Luis Carrilho, United Nations Police Advisor.
"She and her team are helping to build trust between local authorities and communities in Mali, making the work of the United Nations Police more effective and people safer."
Warrant Officer Kinda's career has focused on protecting and promoting the rights of women and children, including between 2013 and 2015, when she was the gender coordinator at the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).
In her home country of Burkina Faso, she served in these roles within the Ministry of Security and the Regional Brigade for the Protection of Women and Children, a national police unit, as an investigator on sexual violence and exploitation.
The United Nations Policewoman of the Year award was established in 2011 to recognize the exceptional contributions of female police officers to UN peacekeeping operations and to promote the empowerment of women.
A peacekeeper from Burkina Faso serving in Mali, Alizeta Kinda has been honoured for her work to boost trust between the authorities and local communities, including survivors of gender-based violence.
Chief Warrant Officer Kinda is the recipient of the 2022 United Nations Woman Police Officer of the Year Award, announced on Monday.
The Award was established in 2011 to recognise the exceptional contributions of women police officers to UN peace operations and to promote women’s empowerment.
Kinda is deployed as a gender focal point with the UN Mission in Mali, known as (MINUSMA).
She supports the Malian Security Forces in the Ménaka region to promote and improve understanding of gender, child protection, human rights, and civil protection issues.
Her efforts have led to more victims of sexual and gender-based violence coming forward to report their cases to local authorities and to receive medical care – now three or more per month, up from none before her arrival.
She has also focused on expanding the number of girls in schools and reducing early marriages.
“Chief Warrant Officer Kinda’s work is a shining example of how the participation of women police in peace operations directly impacts the sustainability of peace.
“How it impacts the sustainability of peace by helping to bring different perspectives to the table and making our work more inclusive,” Jean-Pierre Lacroix, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, said.
“Through her actions, she embodies a more representative, efficient police service that is better equipped to serve and protect the public.
” Upon receiving the news about the Award, Kinda expressed hope that it will inspire women and girls around the world to pursue policing careers “despite the gender stereotypes often associated with the profession: that men are better suited to enforce the laws and protect the population.
” She will be presented with the Award on Wednesday during the third UN Chiefs of Police Summit (UNCOPS), taking place at UN Headquarters in New York from August 31 to September 1. “Chief Warrant Officer Kinda has demonstrated creativity and commitment in addressing the specific security needs of the communities she serves,” UN Police Adviser Luis Carrilho, said.
“She and her team are helping to increase trust between Malian local authorities and communities, which makes the work of the United Nations Police more effective and the people safer.
” UN Police work to enhance international peace and security by supporting host countries in conflict, post-conflict, and other crisis situations.
Women comprise over 19 per cent of the approximately 10,000 UN Police serving in 16 peace operations around the world.
Throughout her career, Kinda has focused on protecting and promoting women’s and children’s rights, including between 2013 to 2015, when she was a gender focal point at the UN’s Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, known as MONUSCO.
She performed these duties back home in Burkina Faso within the Ministry of Security and the Regional Brigade for the Protection of Women and Children, a unit of the national police, as an investigator on sexual violence and exploitation.
The German Army, on Thursday dispatched a civilian airplane from Cologne to rotate troops in Mali, after authorities in the West African state finally granted permission, a German military spokesperson told dpa.
The plane took off with 88 soldiers from the UN mission MINUSMA and five soldiers from the EU training mission EUTM Mali on board, sources close to German parliament said in a briefing.
Mali’s provisional military government suspended troop rotations for the UN mission on July 14. Thursday’s flight is the first one enabling troop rotations for Germans since then, according to the parliamentary sources.
The plansis for the plane to also fly German soldiers from Mali back to Germany.
However, Mali, with a population of around 20 million, has experienced three military coups since 2012 and is considered politically extremely unstable.
Since the most recent coup in May 2021, it has been led by a military government that has been criticised by Western countries for close relations with Russia.
The German civilian flight was an alternative to the flight with a military aircraft, which the transitional government of Mali would not allow.
Meanwhile, Germany has been participating in the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), a peacekeeping force established to boost security after the Tuareg Rebellion of 2012, an early stage of the ongoing armed conflict in the country.
Berlin last week announced that it was suspending its military operations after the government of Mali repeatedly denied the Bundeswehr over flight rights, which it needs to facilitate troop rotation.
Peacekeeping troop rotaThe rotation of peacekeeping troops in and out of Mali has resumed after a month’s suspension by the Malian government, a UN spokesman said on Tuesday.
The rotations began Monday with a contingent from Bangladesh, said Stephane Dujarric, chief spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
No fewer than 400 soldiers from Senegal are scheduled to rotate soon.
“We welcome the coordination efforts between the Malian transitional government and our peacekeeping mission.
“We are also grateful to the more than 60 troop and police contributing countries for their support and commitment to peace in Mali,” said Dujarric.
The suspension began on July 14, four days after the Malian government arrested 49 Cote d’Ivoire soldiers for illegally entering the country, calling them “mercenaries.
” Cote d’Ivoire said the logistical support contingent was under contract with the UN mission in Mali known as MINUSMA.
In a letter to MINUSMA, the Malian foreign ministry said that for reasons related to the national security context, the government had decided to suspend all rotations of the military and police contingent of MINUSMA.
That included those already scheduled or announced.
Representatives of the mission and the Malian authorities held discussions.
Myriam Dessables, the MINUSMA spokeswoman, described an agreement on a streamlined rotation procedure where contingents communicate with the foreign ministry instead of with MINUSMA before entering the country.
The Secretary-General strongly condemns the terrorist attack against the Malian Armed Forces in Tessit, Ansongo region, on August 7, which resulted in a high number of victims and loss of life.
He expresses his deepest condolences to the families of the victims and to the people of Mali, who continue to pay a heavy price in their ongoing fight against terrorism.
He wishes a speedy recovery to the injured.
The Secretary-General reiterates the commitment of the United Nations, including through MINUSMA, to support efforts to restore peace and stability in Mali. Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary General
Germany hopes for answers on Bundeswehr presence in Mali by September Germany hopes for answers on Bundeswehr presence in Mali by September AnswersBerlin, July 23, 2022 German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht hopes to have clarity on the further deployment of the Bundeswehr in Mali by September, saying it is no longer clear if the ruling junta still welcomes their presence.
“The Malian rulers must explain whether they want to continue cooperating with the international community in the fight against terrorism, whether we are welcome.
“I currently have my doubts about this,” Lambrecht told dpa on Saturday ahead of a high-ranking UN representative’s trip to Mali.
It was not acceptable that “harassing practices” made the work of German soldiers more difficult and, in some cases, impossible, she said.
A contingent rotation is planned for September, meaning that most of the soldiers stationed in Mali, as part of the UN peacekeeping mission MINUSMA, will be replaced.
Ties between Berlin and Bamako have been strained since a military coup in Mali last year.
The situation has further deteriorated in recent months, with the junta in Mali declaring that it would not permit any personnel changes to the international forces for the time being.
Last week, eight members of the German Armed Forces were prevented from boarding a civilian flight by Malian authorities in an act Berlin called “harassment.” The government in Mali, on the other hand, is demanding clarification on the relationship between the German government and 49 soldiers from Ivory Coast arrested in Bamako on July 10.
The soldiers were arrested on accusations of illegally entering the country, destabilising the government in Mali and being mercenaries.
However, according to the German Defence Ministry, the forces have been deployed since 2019, with the knowledge and approval of the authorities in Mali, to guard a UN base at Bamako airport, which is also used by Germany.
On Sunday, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix leaves for a five-day trip to Mali to discuss the future of MINUSMA with the local government.
Malian authorities have prevented eight German soldiers from leaving the West African state, German Defense Ministry sources said on Friday.
Members of the Bundeswehr were unable to board a flight on Thursday, which had been previously booked with a civil airline.
Malian authorities reportedly said there were difficulties with the missing documents, according to German ministry sources, who said the move was considered harassment.
Earlier this week, Mali's military government sparked outrage over the arrest of some 50 soldiers from neighboring Côte d'Ivoire, who had been involved in the UN mission in Mali.
Bamako suspended all transfers of international forces on Thursday.
Effective immediately, there would be no exchange of military or police personnel within the framework of the UN mission.
This also affected routine rotations that had already been planned and approved.
Mali, with a population of about 20 million, had suffered three military coups since 2012.
Since the last one in May 2021, the country was run by a transitional military government, which had been criticized for its close relations with Russia.
The military junta had promised elections for the end of March 2024.
For years, Islamist terrorist groups have been causing unrest in the country.
The German military was still involved in the MINUSMA mission in Mali, but the EU's EUTM training mission was to be largely halted.
Côte d'Ivoire called on Mali on Tuesday to release 49 of its soldiers "unjustly" detained at Bamako airport and accused by officials there of being mercenaries.
None of the detained Ivorian soldiers were carrying weapons of war, said a statement from the Ivorian president's office after an emergency meeting of the National Security Council.
Mali had said on Monday that the Ivorian troops were armed and "mercenaries", detaining them on arrival.
Ivorian authorities have insisted that the soldiers had come to join MINUSMA, the UN peacekeeping force in Mali.
"These are not UN peacekeeping troops, so they are not formally part of MINUSMA," Farhan Haq, spokesman for the UN secretary-general, said on Tuesday.
But they were part of the national support elements deployed by contributing countries to back up their troops, he added. “That is a common practice in peacekeeping missions.”
The Malian government has said that its Foreign Ministry was not informed through official channels, denouncing a "flagrant violation" of the penal code related to territorial integrity.
The incident takes place against a background of tensions in Mali, one of the poorest and most unstable countries in Africa.
Colonels angry at the government's handling of a long-running jihadist insurgency seized power in August 2020 and carried out another coup in May the following year.
The military junta has adopted a timetable that allows for a return to civilian rule in 2024.