Ban renews calls for immediate cessation of violence in Mali
“This is a firm and clear message that should be heeded without delay. The Secretary-General also joins the Council in demanding that the rebels, who are conducting attacks, looting and seizure of territory in the north of Mali, cease all violence and seek a peaceful solution through political dialogue,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement.
In a presidential statement yesterday, the Security Council reiterated its earlier condemnation of the rebels’ actions, and said it expected the mutineers to take immediate steps to restore constitutional rule. It also expressed concern over the worsening humanitarian situation, and called on all parties in the country to allow access to aid organizations to provide assistance to civilians in need.
Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said the Secretary-General has continued engaging with regional and other leaders on the situation in Mali, having held conversations with the President of Mauritania, Ould Abdel Aziz; the President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou; and the Foreign Minister of Algeria, Mourad Medelci.
The UN chief has also held discussions with the President of Côte d’Ivoire and Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Alassane Ouattara; the President of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaoré, who is also the ECOWAS-appointed mediator on Mali; and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Jean Ping.
Mr. Ban also reaffirmed his support for regional efforts to find a peaceful and lasting solution to the crises in Mali and renewed his concern over the growing threat of terrorism in the Sahel region, urging regional leaders to continue to work together and with the wider international community to combat this scourge.
Two weeks ago, rebel Malian soldiers took control of the country and announced the dissolution of the Government led by President Amadou Toumani Toure. In addition, renewed fighting in northern Mali, between Government forces and Tuareg rebels, has uprooted more than 200,000 people since January, with the majority seeking safety in neighbouring countries and some 93,000 believed to be internally displaced.