G5 Sahel: UNSC adopts resolution on MINUSMA support; Italy, Sahel source of instability for Mediterranean region


NEW YORK, DECEMBER 8 – The United Nations Security Council today adopted a resolution clarifying the ways in which the international community, including the UN mission Mali – known by its French acronym MINUSMA – is expected to provide support to a multi-country joint military force conducting counter-terrorist operations in the Sahel.

The Force conjointe du G5 Sahel (FC-G5S) was established by the Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger – the Group of Five for the Sahel (G5 Sahel) – to jointly combat terrorism and transnational organized crime in the region.

In the resolution adopted today, the 15-member Security Council welcomed progress achieved in the operationalization of the FC-G5S and underlined the need for FC-G5S operations to be conducted in full compliance with international law, including international humanitarian, human rights and refugee laws, as applicable.

During this year, Italy has stressed several times that the Sahel is a region facing serious challenges to its development and security, such as terrorism, illegal trafficking of human beings, other forms of trafficking and transnational organized crime, the Italian Permanent representative to the UN Sebastiano Cardi told the Council in his explanation of vote recalling the complex situation which he and his colleagues were able to clearly observe during a recent visit in October. “During our Presidency of this Council, last November, we evoked the strong connection between the challenges in the Sahel and the instability in the Mediterranean region and we are glad to have contributed to the debate on the Sahel region. A debate which this resolution is enriching today with another important step”.

In the resolution, the Council further stressed the need to ensure that the gender perspective is taken into account in implementing all aspects of the strategic concept of FC-G5S operations, while requesting the Secretary-General to take appropriate steps to conclude a technical agreement between the UN, the European Union (EU) and G5 Sahel States, to provide specified operational and logistical support through MINUSMA to the FC-G5S.

The support provided pursuant to the technical agreement should “be conducted at the discretion of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Mali and Head of MINUSMA, in close consultation with the Force Commander, and without affecting MINUSMA’s capacity to implement its mandate and strategic priorities, and be restricted to the areas of operations of MINUSMA where such support is compatible with its current level of capacities,” added the resolution.

Also in the resolution, the Council expressed its deep concern over the “persistent delays” in the full implementation of key provisions of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali and renewed its “urgent call” on the Government of Mali and the Plateforme and Coordination armed groups to take immediate and concrete action to fully and expeditiously deliver on their remaining obligations under the Agreement. (@OnuItalia)