As the jihadist groups in Mali are reconstituting themselves in the interior, the Ouagadougou Preliminary Agreement is yet to be fully implemented, and elements of armed groups are still capable of carrying out operations, the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) is facing credibility problems, particularly as it is unable to operate beyond the south. To complicate matters, the Government of Mali had expected MINUSMA to bring about reconciliation in the country. Unfortunately, MINUSAM has been unable to meet this expectation. All these are happening as the French operation Serval is drawing down in the country.
Ambassador Gerard Araud, the permanent representative of France to the United Nations, admitted during a briefing to the Security Council on 25 February that following a recent mission of the Security Council to Mali to evaluate the functionality of MINUSMA, that only the people of Mali could realize a comprehensive and sustainable peace in the country. This defeatist stance of Ambassador Araund is the death knell of MINUSMA. The Council’s mission (31 January to 3 February), who was led by Ambassador Araud, came to the conclusion that serious challenges remained in the areas of security, justice, health, food security, legal system and education. Armed groups mostly in the north continue to pose a serious threat to Mali and the entire Sahel region.
The current difficulties in Mali underscores the problem of rushing to conduct elections in Mali in a country where there is no peace to keep. The same mistake is being made in the Central African Republic. In the two countries, a foreign power intervenes to restore peace hastily and leaves the country before peace is restored, leaving African countries to carry the burden.