By Prudence Arobani
New York – Members of the UN Security Council have welcomed the publication of the final results of the presidential polls in Mali, which saw the re-election of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta.
In a press statement, the 15-member Council insisted on the urgent need to accelerate the implementation of the peace agreement.
The Constitutional Court of Mali validated, a few days ago, the provisional results of the second round of the presidential election and proclaimed Keita the victor.
The Security Council congratulated the people and Government of Mali “for the generally peaceful conduct of the polls of July 29 and Aug. 12, 2018, despite difficult security conditions and limited cases violence in certain areas’’.
The 15-member body congratulated the Malian authorities for the preparation, conduct and conclusion of this election, within the constitutional framework.
It also congratulated the Head of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission (MINUSMA), Mahamat Annadif, for his good offices throughout the electoral process, and MINUSMA for its logistical and security assistance to the Malian government.
The Security Council congratulated all national, regional and international election observation missions, including those of ECOWAS, the AU, the EU and the UN for their positive contributions to the electoral process.
Council members called on all Malians “to join forces and work together to promote lasting peace and address the security and development challenges facing Mali’’.
They expressed their intention to continue working with the Malian people and government to support inclusive and sustainable peace and security throughout the country.
Members of the Security Council stressed “the absolute urgency’’ for the Government of Mali and the armed groups of the Azawad Platform and Movement Coordination “to take unprecedented steps to fulfil their obligations fully and rapidly remaining in the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali’’.
The Security Council declared that “lasting peace and security in the Sahel region would not be possible without a full, effective and inclusive implementation of this Agreement’’.
MINUSMA has been busy providing logistical support to the Government of Keïta, especially in the restive north and centre, where an alliance of militant Islamists and Tuareg rebels have been launching attacks with increasing frequency and ferocity against government troops and UN peacekeepers.
When Keïta was first elected in 2013, his administration replaced a transitional government, which had wrested back control – with international support – of the outlying regions following a failed coup that saw the iconic and ancient city of Timbuktu occupied by militants.
Dozens of UN peacekeepers have made the ultimate sacrifice, defending Mali’s fragile recovery in recent years.