Situation in Mali – Report of the Secretary-General (S / 2021/519) – Mali
1. By its resolution 2531 (2020), the Security Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) until June 30, 2021 and requested the Secretary-General to report to it every three months on the implementation of the resolution. This report covers the main developments in Mali since the previous report (S / 201/299) dated March 26, 2021. As requested in the statement of the President of the Security Council dated October 15, 2020 (S / PRST / 2020/10), it also includes updates on how the Mission is supporting the ongoing political transition in the country.
II. Major developments
2. After some progress in the implementation of the transition roadmap, in particular the publication of the electoral calendar and the launching of preparations for the next elections, there were some political upheavals during the period under review, marked by the arrest and then the forced resignation of the President of the Transitional Government, Bah N’Daw, and the Prime Minister, Moctar Ouane. Previously, following constant criticism from political actors and civil society, measures had been taken by the transitional government to make political processes more inclusive. Progress in the implementation of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali remains slow and was overshadowed by the assassination on April 13 of the president of the Coordination of Azawad Movements (CMA) and the secretary general of the Azawad-CMA Arab Movement.
3. Political and civil society actors criticized the transitional authorities for a perceived lack of inclusiveness and clarity in the transition process. On March 31, the president of the transitional government established by decree the Strategic Orientation Committee on Political and Institutional Reforms. It will serve as an advisory committee to support the Prime Minister on political and institutional reforms, in particular on territorial reorganization, constitutional revision and electoral reforms.
4. The Advisory Committee, which comprises 50 members, including 10 women, includes representatives of the Transitional Government, political parties, signatory armed movements, academia, civil society, the private sector, trade unions and leaders. traditional and religious, held its first meeting on April 19. The 20 percent representation of women on the committee falls short of the 30 percent required by law. The United Nations and the African Union continued to promote the participation of women in the political transition through three dedicated workshops.
5. A delegation from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), led by the former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, visited Mali from May 9 to 12. With the representation of MINUSMA, the African Union and ECOWAS in Mali, the delegation met with the transitional authorities, as well as representatives of political parties, civil society, religious leaders and the diplomatic corps. In its final communiqué, published on May 12, ECOWAS welcomed the progress made and noted the concerns expressed by stakeholders, particularly with regard to the prioritization of reforms; the urgent need for consensus on the structure (s) that will oversee the next elections; territorial reorganization; and transparency and inclusiveness in the transition process.
6. On May 14, the Prime Minister resigned and was immediately reappointed; and began negotiations to form a new government. The reshuffle was preceded by a series of meetings initiated by the President of the Transitional Government with representatives of political parties and civil society, in particular between the President and the Mouvement du 5 Juin-Rassemblement des forces patriotiques (M5-RFP ) on May 6, when the latter called for the resignation of the transitional government and adjustments to the transition trajectory. In the context of these developments, on May 16, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Mali and Head of MINUSMA and the Special Representatives of the African Union and ECOWAS in Mali actively engaged national actors in efforts to reduce tensions and facilitate consensus. on the way forward.
7. On May 24, the President of the Transitional Government issued a decree announcing the appointment of a new Government. In the new Cabinet, the Ministers of Defense and Security, both members of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, which overthrew the former president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta in August 2020, have been replaced. On the same day, the President of the Transitional Government, the Prime Minister and several government officials were arrested and taken to the military garrison in the town of Kati, where they were detained by the military. The ECOWAS delegation returned to Bamako on May 25 to demand the release of the detainees and negotiate a solution. The resignation of the President of the Transitional Government and Prime Minister was announced on May 26. On May 28, the Supreme Court appointed former vice-president Assimi Goïta, military officer and member of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, the new president of the transitional government. On May 30, the heads of state and government of ECOWAS held an extraordinary summit in Accra. They condemned what they called a “second coup” and suspended Mali from the Organization, in accordance with its rules.
8. Civil servants’ strikes persisted in various sectors of the public administration. Discussions aimed at easing social tensions, initiated by the government on May 13, have not resulted in a resolution and the National Union of Workers of Mali, whose objectives are perceived by some as going beyond the simple issue of working conditions in the public and private sectors, began a five-day strike on May 17.
Preparations for the holding of elections
9. On April 14, the Transitional Government published the electoral calendar: the constitutional referendum should take place on October 31, 2021; municipal, regional and district elections will take place on December 26, 2021; and combined legislative and presidential elections will take place on February 27, 2022. The second round of presidential and legislative elections, if necessary, is scheduled for March 13 and 20, 2022, respectively.
10. Reactions to the announcement of the electoral calendar have been mixed. While the announcement was welcomed by Yelema and the Alliance for Strengthening Democracy, the June 5 Movement-Rally of Patriotic Forces criticized the perceived lack of inclusive consultations ahead of the calendar’s release. Civil society actors underlined the need for the transitional authorities to respond to popular grievances before elections are held.
11. On April 13, the Transitional Government convened representatives of political parties to the fifth session of the National Consultation Framework, to discuss outstanding issues, including the composition of the Independent National Electoral Commission, the replacement of deputies to the National Assembly and reorganization. Several political parties stressed that they did not consider the status quo to be acceptable, with some of them calling for the creation of a single electoral management body before the elections were held, but no final decision was made. take on this.
12. Voter registration operations across the country began on April 1 and will end on June 10. Voter registration for the diaspora was launched on May 5.