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Report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Mali (Apr.-May 16)

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United Nations
Security Council


Distr.: General
31 May 2016
Original: English

Report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Mali

I. Introduction

1. In its resolution 2227 (2015), the Security Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) until 30 June 2016 and requested me to report on its implementation, focusing on progress in the implementation of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali and on the efforts of MINUSMA to support it. The present report provides an update on major developments in Mali since my report dated 28 March 2016 (S/2016/281), and contains recommendations for the renewal of the mandate of MINUSMA, taking into account the findings and recommendations of the strategic review led by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations.

II. Major political developments

A. Implementation of the peace agreement

2. During the period under review, some progress was made in the implementation of the peace agreement. However, overall the process remained behind schedule and many challenges continued to be encountered.

Political and institutional measures

3. On 28 March, the Coordination des mouvements de l'Azawad (CMA) opened a four-day forum in Kidal, initially intended to conclude the cycle of intercommunal and intracommunal talks launched in Anefis in October 2015. Contrary to the original plan, the Government and the Platform coalition of armed groups withdrew their participation, as the Government and signatory armed groups failed to reconcile their views on the objectives of the forum and the participation of the Government, even though it had contributed financially to it.

4. On 31 March, the National Assembly adopted a law revising the Code des collectivites territoriales. The law will pave the way for the establishment of interim administrations in the regions of Gao, Kidal, Menaka, Taoudenni and Timbuktu. Following a petition by opposition members of the National Assembly to annul the law, on 5 May, the Constitutional Court ruled that the law was in conformity with the Constitution. The President, Ibrahim Boubacar Kei'ta, promulgated the law on 10 May.

5. On 31 March, the Council of Ministers appointed the new Governor of Kidal. The Governor was sworn in on 5 May, while those appointed to head the newly established regions of Mésnaka (formerly part of the Gao region) and Taoudenni (formerly part of the Timbuktu region) were sworn in on 31 March and 7 April, respectively. Owing to security and logistical challenges, the Governor of Taoudenni remains in Timbuktu, while the Governor of Kidal remains in Gao. As at 18 May, three of five of the Governors were deployed to their respective regions in the north, while the number of prefects stood at 53 per cent (17 of 32). The overall number of government officials absent from their duty stations at the subprefect level decreased from 49 per cent reported in my previous report to 32 per cent, owing mainly to the creation of the new regions. Four magistrates redeployed to jurisdictions in Gao and Timbuktu, with assistance from MINUSMA. On 7 April, a court opened in Gourma Rharous (Timbuktu region), increasing the number of functional jurisdictions in the region to three. On 27 April, the Council of Ministers made several key appointments, including at the level of prefect and subprefect, in Gao, Kidal, Mopti and Timbuktu regions.

6. Progress was also made with respect to the electoral calendar. On 12 April, the Minister of Territorial Administration announced the holding of communal elections on 25 September 2016; a constitutional referendum, during which the establishment of a senate would be proposed, in November 2016; and regional elections in the first semester of 2017. On 20 April, the Government issued a decree establishing a committee of experts for the revision of the Constitution.

7. On 25 and 26 April, the Agreement Monitoring Committee (Comité de suivi de l'accord) held its eighth meeting in Bamako, during which its members stressed the need to accelerate the implementation of the agreement, particularly with respect to the interim administrations and security mechanisms. While the Government presented the measures that it had taken, including the creation of the Ménaka and Taoudenni regions and the review of the Code des collectivites territoriales, the signatory armed groups in a joint letter deplored the lack of progress on the establishment of the interim administrations, reiterating the need for further efforts on institutional issues before moving forward on security and defence aspects. They further deplored the delays in finalizing the development strategy for the northern regions, including the national emergency response plan.

8. MINUSMA continued to support the Ministry of National Reconciliation in the preparation of the Conférence d'entente nationale, planned for later in 2016. On 25 and 27 March, the Ministry of National Reconciliation, with support from MINUSMA, organized a conference on the theme "Consultations on Mali post -conflict", with more than 100 participants, resulting in recommendations on the implementation of the agreement for consideration at the Conférence d'entente nationale.

Defence and security measures

9. On 13 April, CMA provided to the Technical Commission on Security a preliminary list of 18,000 combatants for cantonment; the Platform has yet to provide its list. While a 2013 assessment projected a total of 6,000 combatants from both CMA and the Platform, the Government-led ad hoc working group on disarmament, demobilization and reintegration subsequently revised the total to 10,000 each in 2016. MINUSMA began the construction of five new cantonment sites on 25 April in Ber (Timbuktu region), Tessalit (Kidal region) and Tin Fatimata (Gao region) and on 15 May in Ilouk and Tabankort (Gao region). On 20 May, MINUSMA completed the construction of the first three sites in Likrakar (Timbuktu region), Fafa (Gao region) and Inékar (Ménaka region), with support from the Peacebuilding Fund. All sites include special arrangements for female combatants.

10. Progress was made in the establishment of the Operational Coordination Mechanism, responsible for coordinating both mixed patrols and protecting cantonment sites, with the finalization of its concept of operations and the installation of its headquarters in Gao. On 8 April, the Government handed over 42 vehicles to the Mechanism for the launch of the mixed patrols, while four projects to equip its headquarters were approved through the Trust Fund in Support of Peace and Security in Mali. At the end of April, CMA and the Platform handed over lists of their personnel to join the mixed patrols in Gao, while those for Kidal and Timbuktu remained pending. The mixed patrols have yet to begin. MINUSMA military observers conducted a total of 351 patrols in the north. They also investigated 22 potential ceasefire violations, including eight joint investigations with the mixed monitoring and verification teams. They found no evidence of ceasefire violations.

11. On 18 May, the Council of Ministers approved a new draft decree on the National Council for Security Sector Reform, placing it under the authority of the Prime Minister. The National Council is of critical importance for the implementation of provisions of the agreement on cantonment; disarmament, demobilization and reintegration; integration into the Malian defence and security forces of elements of signatory armed groups; and territorial police and local advisory committees on security. The signatory armed groups have not yet designated their representatives in the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration and integration commissions. On 7 April, the Ministry of Defence and Former Combatants, with support from MINUSMA, organized a workshop to discuss the integration of former combatants into the Malian defence and security forces.

B. Other political developments

12. The reporting period was marked by a number of developments within and between the signatory groups. On 21 March, the Front populaire de l'Azawad (FPA) — a splinter group of CMA — joined the Platform. On 7 April, the Mouvement national de liberation de l'Azawad (MNLA) re-elected Bilal Ag Acherif as its Secretary-General at the conclusion of its third congress, held in Kidal.

C. Regional cooperation

13. Following the terrorist attack in Grand-Bassam, Côte d'Ivoire, on 13 March, which left dozens of civilians killed or wounded, the Ministers of Interior and Security of Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali and Senegal met on 23 and 24 March in Abidjan and agreed on measures to strengthen security cooperation in West Africa. Cooperation between the Ivorian and Malian authorities resulted in the arrest of 15 individuals, including three Malians, related to the terrorist attack in Grand-Bassam.

14. From 20 March to 1 April, the African Union undertook a preliminary assessment visit to Mali, with United Nations support, to review options aimed at addressing the non-permissive environment in which MINUSMA operates in northern Mali. The African Union Commission continued planning to undertake a further assessment involving the United Nations, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the countries of the region and other partners. During a meeting held in Bamako on 5 and 6 May, the Chiefs of Defence Staff of Algeria, Mali, Mauritania and the Niger agreed to strengthen their security cooperation by focusing on information- and intelligence-sharing and enhancing border controls.

III. Major security developments

15. On 18 April, up to 500 demonstrators in Kidal, protesting the presence of international forces, breached the airstrip guarded by MINUSMA. The demonstration turned violent, leaving two protesters dead and nine injured. Airfield installations were seriously damaged by the demonstrators, further hindering the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the local population and MINUSMA operations. Two days later, another demonstration at the airport turned violent. MINUSMA uniformed personnel withdrew from the airport to prevent further escalation, as did CMA personnel deployed there. On 21 April, the organizers of the demonstrations presented a series of demands, including the cessation of alleged harassment and arbitrary detention by the French forces. On 29 April, after my Special Representative spoke with various interlocutors, the demonstrators vacated the airfield; CMA personnel, including an anti-terrorist unit of MNLA, resumed control of airfield security. A preliminary investigation by MINUSMA was unable to determine the circumstances of the two deaths; the Mission continues to investigate.

Asymmetric and other attacks

16. During the reporting period, complex attacks against the Malian defence and security forces, the French forces and MINUSMA continued to be perpetrated by violent extremist and terrorist groups. A total of 15 such attacks were reported against MINUSMA, mainly in the Kidal region, with 5 peacekeepers and 1 civilian contractor killed and 11 personnel injured. The previous reporting period had seen a total of 20 hostile acts, with 10 casualties and 61 injured. However, the attacks are increasingly complex and sophisticated, with a combination of roadside explosive devices and ambushes. On 18 May, along the Tessalit-Gao axis (Kidal region), an unknown number of assailants attacked a MINUSMA convoy with mortar and small arms fire after it had struck an improvised explosive device approximately 15 km north of Aguelhok, killing five peacekeepers and injuring three others. In addition, on 3 May, along the Gossi-Douentza axis (Timbuktu region), approximately 20 assailants attacked a MINUSMA convoy with small arms fire after it had hit an explosive device, injuring two peacekeepers. Nine attacks against the Malian armed forces and two attacks against French forces were reported, including on 12 April, when three French soldiers were killed after the lead vehicle of a convoy had hit a land mine in the Kidal region, in an attack later claimed by Ansar Eddine.

17. On 21 March, an attack was carried out against the Azalai Nord-Sud Hotel in Bamako, the headquarters of the European Union Training Mission in Mali. One assailant was killed by the guards, while three suspects were arrested in Bamako.

18. The French forces and the Malian armed forces conducted two joint counter-terrorism operations in the areas of Gourma (Timbuktu region) and Ansongo (Gao region), while the Malian armed forces conducted three counter-terrorism operations in the Mopti and Segou regions, resulting in the arrest of at least 49 suspects. On 13 April, the Council of Ministers extended the national state of emergency until 15 July.

Protection of civilians

19. Armed banditry continued to constitute the most significant threat to civilians, accounting for 30 per cent of all reported incidents in Gao and in Mopti, respectively, and 40 per cent in Timbuktu. Violent extremist and terrorist groups continued to threaten and intimidate civilians, including civil servants and alleged informants of the Malian and international forces, in the central and northern regions.

20. Intercommunal violence decreased in the reporting period in Menaka. In the Mopti region, tensions between some members of the Bambara and Fulani communities intensified and new self-defence groups reportedly emerged in Douentza and Konna. On 30 April, unidentified armed men attacked a vehicle in the vicinity of Malemana (Mopti region), resulting in the death of a deputy mayor of Dioura (Ténenkou circle) as well as the youth leader of the Bambara community. According to local authorities, since 30 April, violent clashes have resulted in at least 26 people killed (23 from the Fulani community) and the displacement of approximately 827 civilians of the Fulani community. On 5 May, a ministerial delegation arrived in Kareri commune in Ténenkou circle to assess the situation and contain the escalation of violence. Subsequently, a judicial investigation was launched, while Malian defence and security forces established a temporary presence in the area to appease the tension and facilitate the investigations into the events. Further to reports of violent clashes in my previous report, on 21 and 25 March, MINUSMA organized 16 sessions on peaceful coexistence, bringing together more than 500 civilians who had fled recent intercommunal conflict in Inekar (Menaka region).

21. During the reporting period, MINUSMA police conducted 2,049 joint patrols with the Malian police in urban areas, while the MINUSMA Force continued to assume a robust and visible posture in the vicinity of Ansongo (Gao region), Kidal and Ménaka, as well as in Timbuktu region. The MINUSMA Force also conducted joint patrols with the Malian armed forces in the towns of Gao, Menaka, Mopti and Timbuktu. The Mine Action Service sensitized 16,668 people about explosive hazards in conflict-affected areas in the central and northern regions and destroyed 386 explosive items.

IV. Human rights

22. The human rights situation continued to be of serious concern during the reporting period. MINUSMA documented violations and abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law committed by the Malian defence and security forces, CMA, the Platform and other armed and violent extremist groups. A total of 96 cases of serious human rights violations and abuses were reported, with at least 131 victims identified, including 31 children, compared with 34 cases involving at least 53 victims recorded the previous reporting period. The cases involved 7 instances of killing, summary execution and enforced disappearance; 3 instances of inhumane detention conditions leading to death; 13 instances of ill-treatment; 2 instances of recruitment of children; 30 instances of illegal detention; 18 instances of extortion and pillage; 1 instance of intimidation; and 22 instances of lack of due process as a result of ineffective investigation. The recruitment and use of children by armed groups, involving 29 children, was particularly concerning. MINUSMA documented in one of the instances listed above the recruitment of 27 children, including 14 girls and 13 boys, by the Groupe d'autodefense des Touaregs imghads et allies (GATIA), part of the Platform coalition. There were other credible allegations of recruitment and use of children by GATIA.

23. During the reporting period, 103 individuals were arrested for terrorism-related charges, including 80 by the Malian defence and security forces in Bamako as well as in the Gao, Mopti, Segou and Timbuktu regions and 23 by international forces in the north. Fifteen of them were reportedly subjected to summary execution (3), torture (5) and ill-treatment (7) by the Malian forces. CMA continued to detain six Platform combatants, while the Platform continued to detain a CMA combatant. As at 18 May, MINUSMA identified 295 conflict- and terrorism-related detainees, including 5 children, held in State-run detention facilities throughout the country. The continued detention of children constitutes a violation of the Government's commitment of 1 July 2013 to hand over children detained for association with armed groups to civilian child protection actors.

24. The Ministry of Justice and Human Rights established monthly working sessions with MINUSMA to review and address human rights violations documented by the Mission. The first meeting was held on 14 April. In a positive development in the fight against impunity, during criminal court hearings in Bamako and Mopti that began on 2 May, the Court sentenced a dozen individuals charged with serious crimes, inter alia, acts of criminal association and terrorism. Some of the individuals had been released within the framework of the confidence-building measures between the Government and the signatory armed groups during the period from 2013 to 2015. On 30 April, the Council of Ministers adopted a bill on the reform of the National Commission for Human Rights, which provides for greater financial autonomy and independence in accordance with the Paris Principles (see General Assembly resolution 48/134, annex).

25. From 11 to 17 April, my Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict visited Mali, and agreed with the Malian authorities on a joint framework for cooperation and action in key areas such as access and provision of services; the fight against impunity; legislative reform and strengthening the justice system; and specific action plans for the army and police. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) documented, through its partners, 46 incidents of gender-based violence, compared with 78 incidents recorded for the previous reporting period.

26. On 24 March, Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court confirmed the war crimes charge against Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi in relation to the destruction of historical and religious monuments in Timbuktu.

V. Humanitarian situation

27. Criminality and the presence of violent extremist and terrorist groups remained major impediments to the delivery of humanitarian assistance in central and northern Mali. Eleven security incidents involving humanitarian actors were reported, compared with four incidents in the previous period, of which three specifically targeted humanitarian actors. On 29 April, a humanitarian convoy of an international non-governmental organization was attacked in the Gao region, resulting in three humanitarian workers being injured. Damages caused to the Kidal airfield during the incident of 18 April affected aerial movements of humanitarian personnel to and from Kidal. Humanitarian actors continued, however, to provide assistance and to plan for a strengthened presence in the Kidal region.

28. The continued deterioration of the security situation in parts of the Mopti region and threats against local authorities, educators and students in the circles of Djenne, Douentza, Mopti, Tenenkou and Youwarou led to the closure of 25 per cent of schools in those areas. In the Segou region, 20 primary and junior high schools temporarily closed and 2 permanently closed. UNFPA provided emergency obstetric and neonatal care to 5 district hospitals and 15 health centres, and provided 600 delivery kits, while the United Nations Children's Fund worked with implementing partners to provide immunization services in the Kidal region. In the Gao, Kidal, Mopti and Timbuktu regions, the World Health Organization and its partners vaccinated more than 1,454,000 children against polio.

29. The lack of investment in public infrastructure continued to constrain access to water and electricity. Although humanitarian actors had ensured permanent sources of safe community drinking water for up to 9,550 people of a total estimated population of 83,000 in Kidal, it is likely to be insufficient in the current drought conditions. In Menaka, the urgent rehabilitation of boreholes and water systems in areas of return has yet to be addressed.

30. Since my last report (S/2016/281), the number of internally displaced persons remained at 52,000, of which an estimated 51 per cent were children and 25 per cent were women, while almost 145,000 Malian refugees remained in Burkina Faso, Mauritania and the Niger. On 7 April, the third meeting of the Tripartite Commission between Burkina Faso, Mali and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) took place in Bamako, with CMA and the Platform as observers.

VI. Economic development, cultural preservation and the environment

31. Since my last report, progress in the delivery of peace dividends and the return of basic services to the north by the Government continued to be hampered by persistent insecurity, a lack of basic infrastructure, and the limited redeployment of government officials to the north, as well as delays in establishing the interim administrations. MINUSMA and the United Nations country team continued supporting the population, particularly in the central and northern regions. MINUSMA used quick-impact projects to deliver assistance such as the provision of potable water and solar-powered electricity kits to community health centres in Mopti and Timbuktu regions and livelihood support to women in Timbuktu region. The Peacebuilding Fund, along with its implementing partners, including the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the International Organization for Migration and UNHCR, supported 625 income-generating activities in the Gao and Timbuktu regions. MINUSMA and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization continued rehabilitating part of the World Heritage mausoleums in Timbuktu, with work on the Sankore and Sidi Yahia mosques starting on 15 April.

VII. Conduct and discipline

32. During the reporting period, no allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse were registered. For the allegation reported during the previous period, the Member State concerned conducted an investigation in Mali and concluded that it could not be substantiated. Nevertheless, the alleged perpetrator will be charged with disobedience and will not be accepted for deployment to any current or future United Nations peacekeeping operation. MINUSMA conducted seven sexual exploitation and abuse risk assessment visits to military camps to sensitize personnel about discipline and my zero-tolerance policy. In addition, the Mission continued to inform the public and partners about the expected standards of conduct for United Nations personnel, focusing on the implementation of my zero-tolerance policy, while stressing the importance of preventing sexual exploitation and abuse and reporting such cases.

VIII. Strategic review of Mali

33. An integrated strategic review mission was conducted from 14 to 20 March, led by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, to assess the appropriateness of the mandate and configuration of MINUSMA three years after its deployment, taking into account political and security developments, including the signing of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali. The strategic review team consulted a broad cross-section of stakeholders, including the Prime Minister, Modibo Keïta, government ministers and other officials, including the Speaker of the National Assembly; civil society representatives; political parties; the leadership of the signatory armed groups; members of the diplomatic community, including regional partners; the leadership and personnel of MINUSMA; and the United Nations country team. The strategic review team conducted field visits to Gao, Kidal, Mopti and Timbuktu.

A. Findings of the strategic review

1. Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali

Political and institutional reforms

34. Progress on the political and institutional reforms in the agreement remained limited. The implementation of decentralization measures; the establishment of interim administrations; the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of combatants; and security sector reform remained behind schedule. To address this situation, interlocutors urged the swift deployment of the governors for Kidal, Ménaka and Taoudenni, as well as the support of international partners to install the interim administrations that should serve as a catalyst for advancing other provisions of the agreement, including on defence and security and the delivery of peace dividends. Interlocutors underlined that there would be no lasting and effective presence of State authority without the deployment of police, justice and corrections institutions to protect the population and ensure the rule of law.

35. Some interlocutors expressed high expectations regarding the holding of local and regional elections, as well as the revision of the Constitution. Others, particularly within the opposition and women and youth organizations, advocated for an inclusive process to bring on board key segments of the population and ensure that their concerns were duly taken into account. In this respect, they emphasized the importance of holding the envisaged Conference d'entente nationale, calling for its preparatory process to begin urgently.

Defence and security provisions

36. Interlocutors emphasized the need for clear national strategies to take forward security sector reform and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration. They called upon the newly established commissions on integration and on disarmament, demobilization and reintegration to expedite the elaboration of modalities for the process, as well as criteria for integrating combatants into the reconstituted national army. They stressed the urgent requirement to activate the Operational Coordination Mechanism and launch the mixed patrols, including to provide security for redeployed State and interim administrations, reverse the expansion of the violent extremist and terrorist threat and advance cantonment. This would require a substantial level of trust between the parties, as well as further consultations on security arrangements for cantonment and other defence and security provisions. As agreed at the meeting of the Technical Commission on Security on 13 April, the early integration, through the mixed units, of elements of the signatory armed groups into the Malian defence and security forces could serve as an interim measure to establish the minimum security conditions required to move forward with the implementation of other relevant provisions of the agreement, without prejudice to the anticipated plans of the two commissions, which should address long-term solutions.

37. Government officials were also of the view that enhancing coordination mechanisms with MINUSMA could facilitate the redeployment of the Malian defence and security forces to the central and northern regions, including by MINUSMA providing operational and logistical support and mentoring to Malian security institutions in areas of mutual deployment, complementing the work of the European Union Training Mission in Mali. Many interlocutors expressed the view that time was of the essence and that failure to provide tangible security and other dividends to the population would result in the further entrenchment and expansion of violent extremist and terrorist groups.

38. Concern was expressed at the intensification of banditry and intercommunal violence over the past year in the Mopti and Segou regions owing to the limited presence of State institutions, hampering the delivery of basic services in remote areas. Together with intercommunal tensions and perceptions of political, social and economic marginalization, it provided fertile ground for the spread of self-defence militias and violent extremist groups, including the Front de libération du Macina (FLM). In the first half of 2016, such groups were responsible for at least 64 incidents that resulted in 35 civilian casualties.

Reconciliation and justice

39. Many interlocutors noted that the mechanisms in the agreement in respect of reconciliation and justice could play a fundamental role in ensuring long -term peace and stability in Mali. However, uneven progress had been made. Both the Government and civil society expressed support for the establishment of an international commission of inquiry. Civil society also stressed the important role of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission, while expressing disappointment at not being consulted on its membership. While stressing the need to continue to fight impunity, some interlocutors noted that, notwithstanding that releasing detainees had an important confidence-building effect, it also undermined the credibility of the justice system. Counter-terrorism operations undertaken by the Malian armed forces had led to human rights violations in certain communities, which compounded the communities' feeling of marginalization from the peace process. The ability of MINUSMA to monitor and investigate allegations of human rights violations has been adversely affected by the deteriorating security situation.

Humanitarian situation and economic development

40. Many interlocutors, in particular the representatives of civil society and traditional and religious leaders, expressed high expectations that the peace process and strengthened collaboration among the signatory parties would translate into the immediate delivery of basic services and improvement in the lives of the population. However, State institutions and services remained absent in large parts of the north, owing mainly to increasing insecurity. Although such insecurity also had an impact on humanitarian and development interventions, United Nations system agencies and other partners continued to deliver basic services where access was possible.

41. The Government has not yet finalized its strategy for the development of the north or the national emergency plan. As a result, the outcomes of the international conference for the economic recovery and development of Mali, held in Paris in October 2015, has not yet translated into tangible results. Mali's partners had pledged $3.6 billion for the period 2015 to 2017, including $722 million for the north. So far, they have disbursed $780 million in total, including $177 million for the north. The joint evaluation mission to the north conducted by the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank, in accordance with article 36 of the peace agreement, had estimated that $4.9 billion was required for the recovery of northern Mali over three years.

2. Ceasefire and overall security environment

42. While there have not been any violations of the ceasefire since August 2015, the overall security situation in Mali deteriorated significantly during the past year. Security incidents have increased in intensity and sophistication. Terrorist and violent extremist groups have improved their modus operandi, with a higher level of flexibility that allowed them to quickly adopt new techniques and tactics. These groups have enhanced their capacity to carry out attacks against public targets, as seen in the attack on the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako in November 2015 as well as in Ouagadougou and Grand -Bassam, Cote d'Ivoire. In addition, the multiplicity of armed groups, particularly in the north, as well as their complex and rapidly changing relationships, rendered the environment particularly volatile and unpredictable.

43. Malian and international forces continued to suffer casualties with a doubling in the number of attacks perpetrated by violent extremist groups in northern Mali. Attacks have spread to the centre of the country, particularly in the Mopti region. Against this backdrop, the Government and a number of other Malian stakeholders stressed the need to enhance the mandate and posture of MINUSMA to enable it to better protect itself and implement its mandate. Acknowledging that United Nations peacekeeping operations are not well suited to conduct counter-terrorism operations, they called upon the United Nations and other partners to provide targeted logistical support to the Malian armed forces, in the light of the constraints they face.

3. Regional situation

44. Interlocutors highlighted the continued influence of regional developments on Mali, as well as the impact the situation in Mali had on the Sahel and West Africa regions. Particular concerns were expressed about the spread of violent extremist and terrorist groups and their linkages with organized criminal networks. Regional cooperation to address the terrorist threat increased following the attacks in Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire and Bamako. Interlocutors welcomed existing initiatives to counter terrorism and organized crime in the Sahel, including in the context of the Group of Five for the Sahel (G5 Sahel) and the African Union-led Nouakchott process. They also welcomed the support provided by the French-led Operation Barkhan to G5 Sahel countries. At the same time, interlocutors stressed that successfully addressing the scourge of terrorism and organized crime in the Sahel region would require long-term support and investment in cross-border security arrangements and the gathering and sharing of intelligence, as well as enhanced coordination.

IX. Proposed adjustments to the Mission

A. Mandate

45. Taking into account recent political and security developments in Mali, including the signing of the peace agreement, as outlined above, it is recommended that MINUSMA be extended for another year, until 30 June 2017, with its current mandate. To accelerate the next phase of the stabilization process, MINUSMA should, however, prioritize its support to the Government in the implementation of key provisions of the agreement, in particular those related to the gradual restoration and extension of State authority. The Mission should therefore focus on aspects outlined below, with some recommendations for adjustments to its mandate and posture, bearing in mind that its operational effectiveness would be contingent upon enhancing its capabilities and augmenting its uniformed and support components.

Political support, good offices and reconciliation

46. The Mission should continue to fully assume its role in assisting the parties to implement their commitments under the peace agreement. To do so, MINUSMA should enhance its support to the Agreement Monitoring Committee, including by providing expertise to strengthen its secretariat and subcommittees. Furthermore, it is recommended that the Committee, with the support of the international mediation, appoint the independent observer provided for in article 63 to further support it and its mechanisms. MINUSMA should continue its efforts in support of electoral reform and preparations for local and regional elections, while also enhancing the inclusiveness of the peace process, particularly for women and youth, such as by supporting the convening of the Conférence d'entente nationale.

Restoration and extension of State authority

47. MINUSMA should continue to support the Government's efforts for the effective and gradual restoration and extension of State authority, including through the establishment of interim administrations, the operationalization of the two newly formed regions of Menaka and Taoudenni. MINUSMA should also support the gradual redeployment, according to modalities to be jointly defined with the Government, of the Malian defence and security forces, including once they are reformed and reconstituted. MINUSMA should, in particular, support the expansion of State authority and the enhanced presence of the Malian defence and security forces in the Mopti region to prevent a further deterioration of the security situation; mitigate intercommunal tensions and address violent extremism; and facilitate the delivery of basic services.

Ceasefire monitoring, protection of civilians and stabilization

48. In the light of the threat environment and to enhance the posture of MINUSMA, consideration could be given to the mandate of the Mission, specifically confirming that MINUSMA can take all necessary means, in its areas of deployment and within its capabilities, to ensure that its areas of operation are not used for hostile activities of any kind that would prevent it from discharging its duties under its mandate, and to protect United Nations personnel, facilities, installations and equipment. In doing so, MINUSMA should coordinate with the Government and international forces. MINUSMA should also continue to support the Malian authorities in protecting civilians, stabilizing the key population centres and other areas where civilians are at risk, notably in the north of the country, including through long-range patrols, and, in this context, to deter threats and take active steps to prevent the return of armed elements to those areas. MINUSMA should continue to patrol, either independently or in coordination with the Malian armed forces, along key axes. To support the efforts of the Government, MINUSMA would develop tailored multidimensional responses to intercommunal tensions, taking into account local conflict dynamics.

Security sector reform and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration

49. To accelerate the resumption of security responsibilities by the State throughout its territory, MINUSMA should support the early integration of the mixed patrols — comprising elements from the Malian defence and security forces and the signatory armed groups — into the Malian defence and security forces, as an interim measure and without prejudice to the anticipated plans of the demobilization, disarmament and reintegration and integration commissions.

50. The Mission should also support the redeployment of the Malian defence and security forces by mobilizing the support of international partners to provide training and equipment in areas to be determined in consultation with the Government and partners. Collaboration and intelligence-sharing should also be enhanced among the Malian armed forces, international partners and MINUSMA, as part of overall efforts to counter violent extremist groups. Any support provided to the Malian defence and security forces must be implemented in accordance with the human rights due diligence policy on United Nations support to non-United Nations security forces.

51. It is recommended that the Government and MINUSMA elaborate detailed benchmarks, with timelines, for the gradual redeployment of the Malian defence and security forces to the north, which would trigger a review of the deployment of MINUSMA. As part of this effort, the Mission would consider gradually handing over some of its sites close to the Niger belt to the Malian defence and security forces in the coming two years.

Human rights and the rule of law

52. The Mission should continue to support the training of the Malian defence and security forces to promote the full respect of human rights standards when conducting counter-terrorism operations. The Mission should also focus on enhancing coherence between customary law and statutory law while building the capacity of national corrections and judicial actors.

Humanitarian assistance and projects for stabilization

53. The development component of the agreement is a key element of the peace process. The United Nations country team and MINUSMA should enhance their collaboration to ensure an integrated response to support the restoration and extension of State authority and the delivery of basic services. The Mission would focus on the political and security components of the agreement, while the United Nations country team, with its specialized expertise, would lead the Organization's efforts on the agreement's development aspects.

Regional cross-border and inter-mission cooperation

54. Cross-border and inter-mission cooperation remain key to enabling the implementation of the mandate of MINUSMA by creating a more enabling environment for its operation. The Mission should therefore explore measures to enhance its coordination with regional security initiatives, as well as the security agencies of countries bordering Mali, including through the exchange of liaison officers. MINUSMA should also enhance its synergies and exchange of intelligence with regional security arrangements, including the African Union-led Nouakchott process and the G5 Sahel initiative, to more effectively address common security challenges and expedite the stabilization of Mali and the Sahel. MINUSMA should also strengthen its capacities in terms of regional analysis, in close coordination with the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel, including through the United Nations integrated strategy for the Sahel, and other entities in the subregion.

55. The Mission should capitalize on the ongoing United Nations rapid response capability development under the inter-mission cooperation framework in West Africa to enhance its operations. In that context, and on the basis of an assessment of the threat environment, required tasks and available resources, it is proposed that the 650-troop strong quick reaction force, currently in the United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI) be transferred to MINUSMA, following its withdrawal from UNOCI in March 2017. While the unit would remain primarily a MINUSMA asset, it is proposed that it could also operate in Liberia in the event of a serious deterioration of the security situation, under the same arrangements between UNOCI and the United Nations Mission in Liberia, pursuant to resolutions 2162 (2014) and 2190 (2014), respectively. As mobility is essential to making this force effective, it is proposed that the UNOCI aviation unit of 85 personnel currently supporting it also be transferred. Consultations with the respective troop-contributing country, and subsequent modalities for transferring the unit to Mali, are ongoing, pending approval by the Security Council. I will report on the agreed modalities and the proposed concept of operations for the employment of this unit in my next progress report on the situation in Mali.

B. Capabilities, configuration and deployment

Military component

56. As at 18 May, the strength of the MINUSMA military component stood at 10,407 personnel, of which 1.78 per cent were women, representing 96 per cent of the authorized strength of 11,240 personnel. The Force comprised seven infantry battalions deployed in three sectors, force reserves, headquarters staff, enablers, support units and 40 military observers.

57. Enhancing the ability of the Mission to fulfil its mandate and adopt a more robust posture in an environment as insecure, inhospitable and complex as northern Mali requires adequate capabilities. As outlined in my prior report (S/2016/281), MINUSMA continued to lack key capabilities, such as an attack helicopter unit, a military medium-utility helicopter unit, a combat convoy battalion and a force protection unit. The MINUSMA Force remained underresourced in terms of armoured personnel carriers and continued to lack the requisite military staff officers with specialized expertise, including in intelligence and imagery analysis.

58. In addition, many of the Mission's infantry units continued to face serious challenges in meeting United Nations standards for contingent-owned equipment, with 12 units lacking major equipment and 7 units under 60 per cent of self-sustainment requirements. Given that northern Mali is the most lethal threat environment for improvised explosive devices in which any United Nations peacekeeping mission is deployed, improving the manoeuvrability and protection of the Force would require that contributing countries take urgent measures to meet their obligations under their respective memorandums of understanding by deploying the remaining armoured personnel carriers needed under the current Force requirements. In addition, almost half of the level I clinics run by troop-contributing countries are not fully compliant with United Nations standards. Efforts are under way, in consultation with troop-contributing countries, to identify innovative options for meeting the requirements, including by seeking bilateral partners to help fill gaps in essential equipment, including operation and maintenance training for major equipment.

59. The absence of the State in large parts of the north resulted in MINUSMA serving as a primary target for violent extremist groups. Accordingly, the Mission has been required to address its own safety and security challenges first, thereby restricting its ability to fully implement its mandate. The strategic review conducted a thorough troop-to-task analysis, on the basis of the updated security and threat assessment and the limited deployment of the Malian defence and security forces.

60. In sector north, the first priority is the deployment of the outstanding capacities to sustain the logistic supply and provide escalation dominance and robust protection and air mobility for quick reaction and casualty evacuation (combat convoy battalion, attack and utility helicopters). In addition, sector north still lacks a dedicated intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance capability to fill the information gap with regard to providing warning for hostile action and gaining insight into local conflict dynamics.

61. In sector west, violence has spread southwards into the Mopti and Segou regions. The attacks have been associated with Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, Al-Mourabitoun and FLM. There is potential to prevent and reverse the spread of instability with the support of MINUSMA before the influence of violent extremist groups takes root and, with the right measures, the State can regain legitimacy. The situation in Timbuktu is relatively stable; however, the security situation in the Goundam-Lere-Ber belt is deteriorating.

62. It was concluded that the current strength, capabilities and deployment of the MINUSMA Force, even with outstanding capability gaps addressed, is insufficient in the current security situation, given the need for greater mobility, manoeuvrability and self-protection. An augmentation was considered necessary to better enable the Mission to implement its mandate, including with respect to the protection of civilians and support to the redeployment of the Malian defence and security forces to the north as part of its exit strategy.

63. It is therefore recommended that the strength of the military component be increased by 2,049 personnel, bringing the authorized strength to 13,289. The additional personnel would include: (a) 150 special forces in Timbuktu that would contribute to intelligence-gathering and extending the range of operations; (b) an explosive ordnance disposal company of 140 personnel in Timbuktu to enhance protection; (c) an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance company of 115 personnel in Kidal; (d) 135 personnel for enhancement to sector and Force headquarters and existing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance units; (e) 200 personnel to augment the combat convoy battalion to improve logistic supply to the north; (f) 20 staff officers for a new command post in Mopti to provide tactical mobility and emergency response, including evacuation; (g) a 650-troop strong quick reaction force and an aviation unit of 85 personnel; and (h) 554 troops to cover extra manpower for a pledged unit, owing to higher requirements by the contributing countries with respect to self-sustainment, force protection and/or intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance requirements. To enhance the Mission's intelligence capacity, all military personnel and units engaged in intelligence and information management will be reinforced and streamlined into a structure directly under the authority of the Force Commander.

French forces

64. In its resolution 2227 (2015), the Security Council authorized the French forces, within the limits of their capacities and areas of deployment, to use all necessary means to intervene in support of MINUSMA when under imminent and serious threat, if requested by the Secretary-General.

Police component

65. As at 18 May, the police strength of MINUSMA stood at 1,145 personnel, including 276 individual police officers, of whom 35 were women, and 869 formed police unit officers, of whom 41 were women, of an authorized strength of 1,440 personnel, including 320 individual police officers and 1,120 officers in eight formed police units. Formed police units are deployed in Bamako, Gao, Kidal, Mopti and Timbuktu; one is currently deploying to Gao; and one platoon is temporarily in Douentza. The remaining unit is tentatively scheduled to deploy to Goundam in August.

66. On the basis of the evolving security situation and continuing challenges facing Malian law enforcement agencies, it was concluded that the current police strength of MINUSMA was insufficient to fully implement its mandate. It is therefore recommended that the Mission's police strength be increased by 480 personnel, including three additional formed police units and 60 individual police officers, bringing the total authorized police strength to 1,920 personnel. It is also recommended that formed police units be deployed to Menaka and Mopti, with the third unit in Bamako to serve as a reserve for rapid deployment to the regions, while also being available for joint patrols with the national police in Bamako, if requested by the Malian authorities. All formed police units would need to increase the average number of armoured personnel carriers from 6 to 10, in the light of the threat environment. The individual police officers would expand co-location to enhance mentoring and advisory support for specialized units of national law enforcement agencies, including supporting the establishment of transnational organized crime and counter-terrorism units in Gao, Mopti and Timbuktu.

67. MINUSMA will also make adjustments within its current strength, including by establishing a special intervention team of 30 officers in Bamako to support crisis response. Efforts are also under way to deploy a police riverine capacity to enhance the protection of civilians and provide operational support to the Mali security forces in countering transnational organized crime on the Niger River.

Civilian component

68. In accordance with General Assembly resolutions 69/289 A and B, MINUSMA has 1,713 civilian posts, including 801 national posts, 740 international posts and 172 United Nations Volunteers. As at 18 May, 86 per cent of civilian staff, of which 25 per cent were women, were deployed.

69. To ensure that the staffing structure of MINUSMA optimally addresses both substantive and support requirements, a civilian staffing review will be conducted after the adoption of the next resolution on MINUSMA to ensure full alignment with the new mandate. Given the magnitude of support challenges in Mali, consideration may be given to temporarily increasing the strength of the support component until the Mission reaches full operational capacity.

Support considerations

70. The Mission faces unique and serious challenges in meeting its logistical and support requirements, as a result of the vast and inhospitable terrain in Mali, as well as the challenging security environment. The MINUSMA Force continued its efforts to secure the main supply routes by conducting 25 escorted logistics convoy missions during the reporting period. However, the delayed deployment of the combat convoy battalion and the shortfall in armoured personnel carriers and other mine-protected vehicles continued to limit logistical support to the MINUSMA bases in the north. Damages caused to the Kidal airfield negatively affect the United Nations logistical and operational capacities in the region. Rehabilitation work is estimated to cost between $1.7 and $2.1 million and will commence only after the clearing of explosive ordnance devices and once security measures are in place.

71. To further streamline the supply chain and facilitate more efficient and effective movement of goods to the northern and western sectors, it is recommended that the main logistics hub be relocated from Bamako to Gao and the route through Benin and the Niger be used as an additional supply route, which will be substantially shorter than transporting goods from Dakar to Gao and Kidal, as is currently the case. This would entail relocating the majority of civilian logistics personnel from Bamako to Gao. A secondary logistics hub would be maintained in Bamako to facilitate the transport of cargo to sector west.

Safety and security of personnel

72. The general insecurity in the north, in particular the continued deadly attacks against MINUSMA, raises significant concerns relating to the safety and welfare of United Nations personnel. While the continued effectiveness of security operations remains a primary concern, the Secretariat will work closely with troop- and police-contributing countries to ensure that responsibilities to provide for the welfare of deployed personnel are met, and that options available to the Secretariat to support the rotation of contingent personnel more frequently than the standard of every 12 months, in cases of high operational tempo, and the targeting of peacekeepers are considered. Other welfare programmes are being implemented to mitigate the high levels of stress for civilian staff in Kidal and Tessalit.

73. Considerable potential remains for the further integration of technology and intelligence to enhance the security of MINUSMA personnel, installations and assets, while also deploying additional resources, including an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance company to Kidal, as proposed in paragraph 63 above. The Mission would also need to enhance its capability to conduct day and night emergency medical evacuation, requiring two additional specialized helicopters with night vision capability; emergency air medical teams in Mopti and Tessalit; and four medical teams in Aguelhok, Douentza, Leré and Ménaka.

X. Financial considerations

74. My budget proposal for the maintenance of the Mission for the period from 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017 amounting to $945.5 million gross is currently before the Fifth Committee of the General Assembly for review and consideration. Should the Security Council decide to extend the mandate of MINUSMA beyond 30 June 2016, and approve my recommendations contained in paragraphs 45 to 73 above, it is my intention to seek additional resources for the operation of the Mission from the General Assembly during the main part of its seventy -first session.

75. As at 26 May 2016, unpaid assessed contributions to the Special Account for MINUSMA amounted to $79 million. The total outstanding assessed contributions for all peacekeeping operations as at that date amounted to $2,372.6 million.

76. Reimbursement of troop/formed police costs has been made for the period up to 31 January 2016, while reimbursement of the costs of contingent-owned equipment has been made for the period up to 31 December 2015, in accordance with the quarterly payment schedule.

XI. Observations

77. One year after the signing of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation by the Government of Mali and the signatory armed groups, and three years into the deployment of MINUSMA, Mali has come a long way on the path to stabilization. I commend the leadership role played by President Keita and the leaders of the signatory armed groups who have managed, over the past year, to sustain a political dialogue that has been conducive to some progress on political and institutional reforms, as well as the effective cessation of hostilities, since the conclusion of the talks held in Anefis in October 2015.

78. I acknowledge in particular the commitment made by President Kei'ta and the leaders of the signatory armed groups, on 27 February, to agree on a new timeline for the implementation of the key institutional and security provisions in the peace agreement. This, in itself, is an acknowledgement that the challenges for the implementation of the agreement are daunting, and that progress made so far has been uneven. The political and institutional reforms, notably those related to decentralization, security sector reform and the rule of law, offer a historical opportunity to bring a sustainable solution to the longstanding governance and security challenges that lie at the core of the Malian crisis. I therefore remain concerned by the continuing delays in the implementation of the agreement and share the feeling of urgency expressed by Malian and international stakeholders alike.

79. The onus is on the Malian stakeholders to redouble efforts to accelerate the implementation of the agreement. I recall, once again, their commitment under article 50 of the agreement to implement it in good faith and to work towards its full implementation. I welcome the appointment of the three Governors for the Kidal, Menaka and Taoudenni regions, and the promulgation of the law revising the Code des collectivites territoriales, which constitute important milestones for the gradual restoration and extension of State authority.

80. The slow progress in the activation of the defence and security provisions in the agreement, including the mixed patrols and the cantonment, the delayed restructuring of the security sector and the continued absence of law enforcement institutions in a large part of the Malian territory, have significantly contributed to the deterioration of the security environment in the north. The Government and the signatory parties are now confronted with the urgent need to engage in a "race against the clock" to reverse the determination of the terrorist and violent extremist groups to derail the implementation of the agreement.

81. I call upon the Government and the signatory armed groups, with the support of MINUSMA and other partners, to capitalize on the recent creation of the integration and disarmament, demobilization and reinsertion commissions and on progress on political reforms to accelerate the cantonment process, launch the operationalization of the mixed patrols, as well as the special units, and provide security for the gradual extension of State authority to the north. I also call upon the Government to engage in a genuine dialogue with the signatory groups, with the support of international partners, with a view to agreeing on the modalities for the integration of elements of signatory armed groups within the reconstituted Malian defence and security forces to enable progress on cantonment and the establishment of the mixed units and the mixed patrols.

82. In that context, I urge the Government, in close coordination with MINUSMA and other partners, including the European Union military and police training missions in Mali, to define a road map for the gradual extension and redeployment of the reformed and reconstituted Malian armed forces, as well as law enforcement, justice and corrections capacities, as the most appropriate response to the rise of terrorism and violent extremism in the country. While the Government should continue leading the reform of the Malian security institutions, I encourage the international community to increase its support to further strengthen the capacities of the Malian armed forces, particularly by providing training, equipment and mentoring.

83. It is my firm belief that without urgent progress on the defence and security provisions of the agreement, the Government and the signatory armed groups will continue to face significant strategic reversals affecting the security environment in the northern, central and southern regions of Mali, as demonstrated by the terrorist attack against a MINUSMA convoy on 18 May, during which five peacekeepers were killed. I strongly condemn the cowardly attacks against civilians, signatory armed groups, the Malian and French forces and MINUSMA. I reiterate that attacks targeting United Nations peacekeepers constitute war crimes under international law and that all perpetrators, organizers, financers and sponsors of terrorist acts must be brought to justice in accordance with international law. I also express my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and the Governments of those concerned, as well as to the people and Government of Mali who continue to suffer unconscionable losses. I urge all Malian parties to refrain from violent action and to condemn the use of children as human shields. In that context, I again condemn the events of 18 April in Kidal that exemplify the fragility of the peace process as well as the lack of commitment of some actors. I deeply regret the loss of life and reiterate the commitment to provide full clarity on what transpired.

84. I remain extremely concerned by the expansion of attacks by violent extremist and terrorist groups in the Mopti and Segou regions, where Malian security and law enforcement agencies are facing increased threats that have also hampered the operations of the United Nations agencies, funds and programmes and other partners in the area. While commending the Malian authorities for launching counter-terrorism operations in those regions, I call upon the Government to ensure that any response is undertaken in full compliance with its international human rights obligations. I am concerned about allegations of human rights violations being committed in the course of such operations, further alienating already marginalized communities. The fight against terrorism must not infringe upon basic human rights and fundamental freedoms or aggravate the marginalization of certain communities. I emphasize, once again, that human rights violations committed in the name of countering violent extremism will give terrorists their best recruitment tools.

85. It is also important to continue to fight impunity and address long-standing grievances of local communities, including regarding the inclusiveness of the peace process. I call upon the Government and signatory armed groups, with the support of international mediation, to promote the broad involvement of all Malian stakeholders in the peace process, including through sustained political dialogue, more proactive outreach initiatives and enhanced participation by women and youth. The convening of the Conference d'entente nationale will play an important role. I also call upon the Government to continue to work closely with MINUSMA and other partners to operationalize the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission, whose structures in the regions should contribute to bringing justice and reconciliation closer to local communities.

86. I am encouraged by the resolve demonstrated by the Malian leadership to curb the expansion of violent extremism, including through the endorsement of the five priorities under the Integrated Assistance for Countering Terrorism Initiative for Mali, namely the strengthening of the judicial system, the coordination of terrorism -related issues at the national and regional levels, security sector reform, the enhancement of border security and the prevention of violent extremism. MINUSMA will support the Government in the implementation of this initiative with financial support from the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre.

87. The return of basic services and the establishment of income-generating activities remain critical to addressing continuing humanitarian concerns and unemployment, particularly among youth and former combatants who are vulnerable to radicalization. I strongly encourage the Government to sustain its efforts to expand the coverage of basic social services in the central and northern regions to ensure that conflict-affected communities benefit from the long-awaited dividends of peace. MINUSMA will continue to deepen its engagement with the United Nations country team so as to ensure an effective complementarity of efforts, an early transfer of responsibilities, as appropriate, and the rapid delivery of basic services to the most vulnerable areas of the country, in full respect of humanitarian principles.

88. Security and stability in Mali is inextricably linked to that of the Sahel and West Africa regions, as evidenced by the recent terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire and Mali, as well as the continued instability in some countries of the Sahel. The stabilization of Mali will only be possible with the strong and effective engagement of the countries of the region, as such threats cannot be contained by borders. I welcome the commitment by regional leaders to work closely together to this end, in particular at a time when the United Nations is adapting its peacekeeping footprint in the region. The ongoing security initiatives spearheaded by the African Union, ECOWAS and the G5 Sahel are important mechanisms to bring together relevant stakeholders and operationalize this commitment. I underscore the importance of enhanced regional ownership of such initiatives. I encourage bilateral and multilateral partners to increase their support to these organizations and initiatives, including with the provision of financial and logistical assistance, so as to enhance the region's collective efforts to more effectively combat terrorism, violent extremism and transnational organized crime. I encourage further collaboration by the countries of the region to reinforce collaboration with the Government of Mali and MINUSMA on issues related to border security and intelligence-sharing as well as through the United Nations integrated strategy for the Sahel. MINUSMA will continue to play its role in accordance with its mandate and to enhance its support to these regional initiatives.

89. Looking ahead, I intend to keep the rapidly evolving political and security landscape under close review, while continuing to ensure that MINUSMA is appropriately resourced and positioned to achieve its priority objectives. I will continue to engage with the Government to develop realistic and credible benchmarks towards the gradual establishment and extension of State authority that would help better sequence the engagement, priorities, posture and footprint of MINUSMA in the months and years ahead, bearing in mind the timelines in the agreement for major institutional reforms, as well as the presidential elections scheduled for 2018. This could also be helpfully framed by a shared vision of the Mission's end state.

90. My Special Representative will continue to use his good offices to proactively engage with the Government of Mali and the signatory armed groups to that effect, and to overcome potential obstacles in rolling out the key political, institutional and security reforms in the agreement. In close coordination with international mediation, MINUSMA will also continue to play a key role in the strategic coordination of the dialogue between the Government and international partners on issues related to the implementation of the agreement. Meanwhile, the Mission will deepen its support for the activities of the Agreement Monitoring Committee and other mechanisms set forth in the agreement, while calling upon the Committee to seriously consider the appointment of the independent observer.

91. I therefore recommend that the Security Council extend the mandate of MINUSMA for a period of one year, until 30 June 2017, with an authorized strength of up to 13,289 military personnel and 1,920 police personnel, while reprioritizing the mandate of MINUSMA, as outlined in paragraphs 45 to 73 above, in particular those related to the protection of United Nations personnel, facilities and assets, the protection of civilians and the implementation of stabilization tasks.

92. In addition to the recommended adjusted mandate and strength, it remains critical that MINUSMA urgently address outstanding gaps in force requirements, enhance its capabilities, including intelligence and the use of technologies, and continue to adjust its posture to be responsive to the deteriorating security situation. Such measures would better enable MINUSMA to implement its mandate. I urge all Member States that have pledged uniformed personnel and assets to MINUSMA, or are providing support to MINUSMA troop- and police-contributing countries, to accelerate the deployment of any pending personnel and materiel. I also urge the rapid deployment of any additional military and police capabilities, should the Security Council so authorize. I commend all MINUSMA contributing countries for their continued support in pursuit of peace, including the unprecedented contribution extended by European troop- and police-contributing countries, for the pledges that they have made in support of MINUSMA.

93. Lastly, I wish to express my gratitude and full support to my Special Representative for Mali, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, for his tireless efforts. I wish to pay special tribute to the civilian and uniformed men and women of MINUSMA for their dedication and contribution to Mali under extremely difficult circumstances. I also express my gratitude to the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, the European Union and bilateral partners, United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, non-governmental organizations and all other partners, many of which have been serving under difficult conditions and facing grave threats in a hostile environment, for their contribution in support of peace and stability in Mali.


Military and police strength of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali as at 30 April 2016

Country Military component
(staff officers and units)
Police component
Individual police officers Formed police units Total police
Male Female Total Male Female Total Male Female Total Male Female Total
Armenia 1 1
Australia 5 5
Bangladesh 1 445 1 445 139 139 139 139
Belgium 7 7
Benin 258 258 26 1 27 140 140 166 1 67
Bhutan 3 3
Bolivia (Plurinational State of)
Bosnia and Herzegovina 2 2
Brunei Darussalam
Burkina Faso 1 691 29 1 720 24 3 27 24 3 27
Burundi 13 13
Cambodia 192 13 205
Cameroon 3 3 16 16 16 16
Central African Republic
Chad 1 443 1 443 4 4 4 4
China 387 15 402
Côte d'Ivoire 4 4
Czech Republic 1 1
Democratic Republic of the Congo 5 1 6 5 1 6
Denmark 17 1 18
Djibouti 1 1 1 1
Dominican Republic
Egypt 68 68
El Salvador 98 4 102
Estonia 1 1
Ethiopia 1 1
Finland 4 4
France 22 22 9 9 9 9
Gambia 4 4
Germany 129 129 16 3 19 16 3 19
Ghana 219 219
Guinea 847 6 853 7 3 10 7 3 10
Guinea-Bissau 1 1
Indonesia 140 4 144
Italy 1 1
Jordan 1 1 1 1 1 1
Kenya 3 4 7
Latvia 1 1
Liberia 47 2 49
Madagascar 2 2 2 2
Mauritania 5 5
Nepal 146 4 150
Netherlands 442 30 472 16 3 19 16 3 19
New Zealand
Niger 856 6 862 13 12 25 13 12 25
Nigeria 65 13 78 2 2 108 31 139 110 31 141
Norway 72 9 81
Papua New Guinea
Portugal 3 3
Republic of Korea
Republic of Moldova
Romania 1 1 2 2 2 2
Russian Federation
Senegal 656 10 666 16 2 18 276 4 280 292 6 298
Sierra Leone 7 7
South Africa
Sri Lanka
Sweden 213 21 234 2 3 5 2 3 5
Switzerland 4 4 3 3 3 3
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Togo 921 15 936 3 3 134 6 140 137 6 143
Tunisia 46 1 47 46 1 47
Turkey 3 3 3 3
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 2 2
United Republic of Tanzania
United States of America 9 9
Yemen 7 7 9 9 9 9
Total 10 455 186 10 641 239 32 271 797 47 838 1 036 73 1 109

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