The United Nations Security Council September 5, 2017 unanimously adopted resolution 2374 establishing a targeted sanctions regime on Mali.
Drafted by France, two rounds of negotiations were held over the last ten days although the idea of such a draft Resolution had been discussed informally since the beginning of 2017.
The resolution, imposes a travel ban and assets freeze on individuals and entities engaged in actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, or stability of Mali. It also established a Sanctions Committee on Mali and requests the Secretary-General to create, for an initial period of thirteen months, a panel of experts to support the Committee’s work. The designation criteria outlined in the resolution include:
- engaging in hostilities in violation of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali;
- taking actions that obstruct, including through prolonged delay, or threaten the implementation of the Agreement;
- acting for or on behalf of, or at the direction of or otherwise supporting or financing, those violating the Agreement by engaging in hostilities or obstructing its implementation, including through proceeds from organised crime;
- engaging in planning, directing, sponsoring, or conducting attacks against: the various entities referenced in the Agreement, including local, regional and state institutions, joint patrols and the Malian Security and Defense forces; UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) peacekeepers and other UN and associated personnel, including members of the Panel of Experts; and international security presences, including the joint force of the Group of Five for the Sahel, EU Missions and French forces;
- obstructing the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Mali, or access to, or distribution of, humanitarian assistance in Mali;
- planning, directing, or committing acts in Mali that violate international human rights law or international humanitarian law, as applicable, or that constitute human rights abuses or violations; or
- using or recruiting children in violation of applicable international law, in the context of the armed conflict in Mali.
The Malian Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation (2015) includes in its Article 54 an invitation for the UNSC to adopt measures against those undermining the implementation of the Agreement and the pursuit of its objectives.
As early as January 2017, France had indicated readiness to table the resolution but several Council members demanded that government of Mali must formally convey to the Council, a request for such a sanctions regime.
On August 9, 2017 the government of Mali sent a letter to Egypt, in its capacity as President of the Council for the month, requesting the establishment of a sanctions regime, particularly in light of repeated ceasefire violations by armed groups in northern Mali.
The letter appears to have paved the way for a smooth negotiation process.
Expressing its support for the resolution, Russia, also noted its concern about the usefulness of sanctions, and the risk of antagonising the parties to the conflict. On August 24, Russia had warned that while it was important to respond to the request of the Malian government, it must be noted that the Government is is only one of the parties to the Agreement, along with the Coordination and Platform coalitions of armed groups.
Source: What’s In Blue