Note to Correspondents: on Mali/MINUSMA
New York – The United Nations is gravely concerned about heightened tensions and increasing armed presence in Northern Mali, which are likely to impede the timely and orderly departure of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), and endanger the safe transit of United Nations personnel and assets belonging to Troop-Contributing Countries and the United Nations. This situation also jeopardizes the air operations conducted by the Mission to protect its drawdown and enable its withdrawal.
The United Nations reaffirms its determination to complete the withdrawal of MINUSMA within the timeline of 31 December 2023 set by the Security Council, following the request by Mali for the withdrawal of the Mission without delay. In this respect, it notes with deep concern that, since 24 September, its logistics convoys have not been allowed to move from Gao to retrieve United Nations and Troop-Contributing Countries’ equipment currently in Aguelhok, Tessalit, and Kidal. This could adversely impact the mission's ability to adhere to the stipulated timeline.
Heightened tensions in Northern Mali increase the likelihood of the Mission being forced to depart without being able to retrieve equipment belonging to Troop-Contributing Countries or to the United Nations. This would result in significant financial losses for Troop-Contributing Countries and would prevent the United Nations from supporting other United Nations peace operations that need this equipment.
The United Nations underlines that all parties have the obligation to refrain from any action or statement that could jeopardize the safe and timely withdrawal of MINUSMA. The United Nations also recalls Security Council resolution 2690 that calls upon the Transition Government of Mali to cooperate fully with the United Nations during MINUSMA’s drawdown, withdrawal and liquidation, to ensure the orderly and safe withdrawal of the mission, and requests the Transition Government of Mali to fully respect all provisions of the Status of Forces Agreement until the departure of the final element of MINUSMA from Mali.
New York, 14 October 2023