India on Tuesday expressed concern over the upsurge of violence in Mali and stressed on having a comprehensive approach to address the security challenges arising out of the asymmetric attacks in the region.
Speaking at a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) session, TS Tirumurti, Permanent Representative of India to the UN, said: "The security situation in Mali, particularly in Central and Northern Mali remains a matter of concern. In the last three months, MINUSMA has lost ten peacekeepers to attacks by terrorist groups in Mali. The latest attack on United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSMA) camp reflects the gravity of the situation."
He also reiterated the need for more robust support from the Council and from the international community to the Joint Force of the Group of Five for the Sahel. He has pointed out that the Council also needs to be cognisant of the fact that MINUSMA has been seriously affected by IED attacks in recent years.
"MINUSMA is playing an important role in stabilizing the security situation in Mali through its political and military support to the peace process, along with its confidence-building measures. We applaud the efforts of MINUSMA peacekeepers, who are functioning under complex and challenging circumstances," he said.
Noting that there has been positive progress in the redeployment of former combatants into the Malian Defence and Security Forces, the Permanent Representative of India underscored that all efforts are oriented towards reforms that will facilitate timely elections and pave the way for an elected government, which can deal with long-term reforms.
"The transitional government must continue engaging the political parties on the transition process to ensure that the process is inclusive. The dialogue with labour unions is another important step that will help address the socio-economic issues. We hope these measures will contribute positively to the process of redeployment of state institutions in central and northern Mali," he further mentioned.
Tirumurti expressed the mediation role of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and African Union (AU) towards the restoration of constitutional order and said that India looked forward to the implementation of the Integrated Performance Policy Framework to systematically assess all Mission components equally.
Reiterating India's commitment to supporting Mali to overcome the present political and security crisis, Tirumurti said: "What Mali needs today is the continuing support of theinternational community to overcome the multifaceted crisis."
He also recalled India's support of 396,000 COVID-19 vaccines to Mali.
( With inputs from ANI )
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