The United States supports the resolution on Mali adopted by the UN Security Council today as a comprehensive approach to the overlapping governance, security, and humanitarian crises affecting Mali.
This resolution today accomplishes a number of important objectives: it imposes targeted sanctions against AQIM individuals and entities in Mali, supports a negotiation process to seek a sustainable political solution with the North, provides support and assistance from the UN and member states to bolster planning efforts by ECOWAS and the African Union, and expresses the readiness of the Security Council to respond to the request from the Transitional authorities of Mali regarding a potential force to assist the Malian armed forces.
The United States believes that ECOWAS and the AU should play a prominent role in planning and implementing any such response, with strong and active support from the international community. Both military and civilian elements will be essential in responding to the emerging threats in Mali and the Sahel. The U.S. government’s objectives to address the situation in Mali include restoring the authority of the State of Mali over its entire national territory, upholding the unity and territorial integrity of Mali, and confronting the threat posed by AQIM and affiliated groups.
Strengthening democratic institutions must be at the heart of combating extremism and political upheaval. Accordingly, we believe that restoration of democratically-elected government in Mali by April 2013, as called for by ECOWAS, is a crucial component of the overall long-term solution to Mali’s current crises.
Finally, we welcome the appointment of Special Envoy Romano Prodi. The Secretary General should empower the envoy to marshal U.N. resources to help Bamako hold elections by April 2013, and to engage with Malian, Tuareg and regional stakeholders to promote a negotiated settlement to the Tuareg rebellion. In addition, the envoy should support U.N. OCHA’s ongoing efforts to improve the international response to the humanitarian crisis in the Sahel region.
We look forward to the report called for by today’s resolution and for continued international attention regarding the situation in Mali.