The African Union (AU), the United Nations (UN), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the European Union (EU) -- in their capacity as members of the Mediation Team supporting the implementation of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali resulting from the Algiers Process -- commend the parties to the Agreement for the effective launch on 28 February of the interim authorities in Kidal and on 2 March in Ménaka and Gao. They encourage the parties to complete this process and urge them to overcome the difficulties that are impeding the establishment of the interim authorities in the Taoudéni and Timbuktu regions. The AU, the UN, ECOWAS, and the EU also welcome the successful conduct by the parties of the first mixed patrol in Gao on 23 February, within the framework of the Operational Coordination Mechanism, and call on the parties to extend said mixed patrols in Kidal and Timbuktu without delay.
Those initiatives represent important milestones towards the successful implementation of the Agreement and towards greater peace and stability and the return of state services.
In view of the important steps still to be taken, the AU, the UN, ECOWAS, and the EU invite the parties to the Agreement to continue to honour the commitments made, in particular at the high-level meeting of the Agreement Monitoring Committee held in Bamako on 10 February, presided by the Minister of State, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Algeria, Ramtane Lamamra, as well as to implement all the provisions of the Agreement for the interim period so as to support in a consensual manner the ongoing State reform and the new political and security architecture. In that regard, they call on the parties to establish without delay the National Commission for Disarmament, Demobilization and Reinsertion, the Integration Commission, and the National Council for Security Sector Reform, which are key to advancing the peace process.
The AU, the UN, ECOWAS, and the EU also welcome the establishment of a consultative framework involving all parties as well as the international Mediation Team, under the auspices of the High Representative of the President for the Implementation of the Agreement. They also commend the progress made in preparing for the Conférence d’entente nationale and call for broad and inclusive participation for its preparation and organization, as recommended during the high level meeting.
The AU, the UN, ECOWAS, and the EU are deeply concerned by the deteriorating security situation in Mali, as evidenced by the increased number of deadly attacks and clashes, especially in the north and central regions. They strongly condemn the attacks perpetrated on 5 March on Malian armed forces checkpoints in Boulkessi, resulting in the death of several soldiers, and in Timbuktu, as well as the terrorist attacks that took place in border areas in Burkina Faso and Niger. They call for swift action to bring the perpetrators of this heinous attack to justice.
They also call on the parties to the Agreement to work closely together to improve intercommunal relations, share information about security threats, and take concrete steps to prevent and counter violent extremism and terrorism and spill-over into the region. In this regard, they welcome the initiative of the G5 Sahel Member States to more effectively fight violent extremism in support of the Malian parties.
The AU, the UN, ECOWAS, and the EU reiterate their steadfast commitment to support, in coordination with the lead and the other members of the international mediation team, the implementation of the Agreement, including through the benchmarks for monitoring the implementation of the Agreement published by the UN Secretary-General in his report on Mali dated 30 December 2016, and their determination to counter those who take actions to obstruct or threaten the implementation of the Agreement.