Secretary-General Reaffirms United Nations Commitment to Mali as Peacekeeping Mission Completes Withdrawal

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:

As the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) completed its withdrawal from the country by 31 December, in line with Security Council resolution 2690 (2023), the Secretary-General recognizes the key role MINUSMA has played in protecting civilians; the Mission’s support to the peace process, including by ensuring respect for the ceasefire in the context of the 2015 Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali, as well as to the transition; its efforts towards the restoration of State authority; and the provision of peace dividends to the population.

He expresses his deepest gratitude to MINUSMA personnel, including the Head of Mission, Special Representative of the Secretary-General El-Ghassim Wane, who has provided outstanding leadership in a challenging context.  The Secretary-General particularly appreciates the commitment and service of the troop- and police-contributing countries in difficult circumstances, including during the drawdown and withdrawal phase of the Mission.  He pays tribute to the 311 MINUSMA personnel who lost their lives and the more than 700 who were injured in the cause of peace during the 10 years the Mission was deployed in Mali.  The Secretary-General and the entire United Nations family stands in sympathy and solidarity with the loved ones, friends and colleagues of the fallen staff as we remain inspired by their selfless devotion to the cause of peace.

1 January 2024 will mark the start of the liquidation period, during which a smaller team reporting to the Department of Operational Support, along with the rear parties of troop- and police-contributing countries, will remain at sites in Gao and Bamako to oversee the orderly transportation of assets belonging to troop- and police-contributing countries to the respective nations, and the appropriate disposal of equipment belonging to the United Nations.  The Secretary-General counts on the full cooperation of the transitional Government to ensure this process is completed as soon as possible.

The Secretary-General reaffirms the commitment of the United Nations to work with the Malian people and transitional Government towards the restoration of constitutional order, as well as the promotion of peace and security and sustainable development.

The entire United Nations system, including the 21 United Nations agencies, funds and programmes of the country team in Mali, in collaboration with the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) and the Special Coordinator for Development in the Sahel, will continue its support in pursuit of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Mali, including by advancing the United Nations-Government of Mali jointly agreed objectives of the Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework 2020–2024.

For information media. Not an official record.