U.N. Security Council Issues Press Statement on Mali (SC/10878) (including text)

The United Nations Security Council issued a Press Statement on January 10, 2013 regarding the deteriorating situation in Mali (SC/10878; AFR/2502).

The text of the Press Statement follows:

Security Council Press Statement on Mali

The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Mohammad Masood Khan ( Pakistan):

The members of the Security Council express their grave concern over the reported military movements and attacks by terrorist and extremist groups in the north of Mali, in particular their capture of the city of Konna, near Mopti. This serious deterioration of the situation threatens even more the stability and integrity of Mali and constitutes a direct threat to international peace and security.

The members of the Security Council recall resolutions 2056 (2012), 2071 (2012) and 2085 (2012) adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, as well as the urgent need to counter the increasing terrorist threat in Mali.

The members of the Security Council reiterate their call to Member States to assist the settlement of the crisis in Mali and, in particular, to provide assistance to the Malian Defence and Security Forces in order to reduce the threat posed by terrorist organizations and associated groups.

The members of the Security Council express their determination to pursue the full implementation of its resolutions on Mali, in particular resolution 2085 (2012) in all its dimensions. In this context, they call for a rapid deployment of the African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA).

The members of the Security Council call for the immediate issuance of an agreed political road map, which includes serious negotiations with non-extremist Malians in the north and presses for the full restoration of democratic governance.

The statement has no legal effect, and is in effect essentially meaningless.

The most recent action by the Security Council was the adoption of Resolution 2085 on December 20, 2012. That resolution, which appeared to be hurriedly cobbled together to meet a 45-day deadline contained in a previous Security Council resolution, had a confusing text, no clear lines of command and responsibity, and no clear timeline for international military action to be taken against the insurgents in northern Mali.

See The Trenchant Observer, “U.N. Security Council adopts Resolution 2085 authorizing political, training and military action to restore control over North in Mali; confused resolution launches international bureaucratic and decision-making monstrosity,”
December 21, 2012.

For the latest news reports, see

Associated Press, Mali Seeks French Help Against Extremists,” NPR
News, January 10, 2012 (9:39 PM EST).

Le Monde.fr avec AFP et Reuters. “Le Mali demande l’aide militaire de la France, Le Monde, 11 janvier 2013 (Mis à jour le 11.01.2013 à 08h19).

David Baché. “Mali : les combats reprennent entre l’armée et les islamistes,”
Le Figaro, 10 janvier 2013 (Mis à jour à 19:15).

The situation is complicated by demands to replace the government of transition in Mali, upon which the entire edifice of Security Council Resolution 2085 is based.

France is supposed to respond to the appeal for help from the government of Mali on Friday, January 11. It may be that France has the only military force capable of intervening quickly enough to halt the advance of the rebels from the North. Whether they will choose to do so is an open question.

The manifest defects in Resolution 2085 have now become evident for all to see, under the pressure of impending events. The talk at the time Resolution 2085 was passed was that military action should not be expected before September or October 2013.

The Security Council’s calls for others to act demonstrates how far removed the Security Council has moved from being able to take effective action itself to maintain international peace and security.

The Trenchant Observer

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"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by The Observer, an international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. He is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States (IACHR), where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, The Observer has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. The Observer speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, The Observer has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on the best articles that have appeared in the blog.