- The secretary-general, in a statement issued here by his spokesman, made the appeals one day before the the Malian government is scheduled to organize local elections on Sunday.
United Nations. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday called for peaceful local elections in Mali and encouraged the Malian government to “pursue a constructive dialogue with all stakeholders to defuse tensions that may arise before and after the poll.”
The secretary-general, in a statement issued here by his spokesman, made the appeals one day before the the Malian government is scheduled to organize local elections on Sunday.
“The secretary-general calls on the Malian government, the democratic opposition and the signatory parties to the peace agreement to ensure the conduct without incident of the elections in the localities where political and security conditions allow their organization on 20 November,” said the statement.
“He encourages the Malian government to pursue a constructive dialogue with all stakeholders to defuse tensions that may arise before and after the poll and to ensure that the holding of these elections do not compromise the advances made in the implementation of the political and security interim arrangements provided for by the agreement,” the statement said.
“He acknowledges that the Malian Constitution precludes further postponement of the polls, which have already been rescheduled three times,” the statement said.
The secretary-general noted that important delays in the implementation of key provisions of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali, the statement said.
The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) will support the conduct of the polls within its resources and in its areas of deployment where it will be possible to conduct the elections by providing logistical and security assistance as provided for by its mandate, it said.
Local councillors and mayors are normally elected for five years in the West African country, where the last such polls were held in 2009. However, no election was held in 2014 because of insecurity.
Northern and central parts of Mali frequently come under attack by extremist rebel fighters, despite a peace pact sealed in mid-2015 by the government, armed groups that back it and mainly Tuareg former rebels who battled the army in the north.
The peace accord, known as the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali, was signed in June 2015 by the Coordination des Mouvements de l’Azawad armed group, following its signature in May 2015 by the Malian government and a third party, the Plateforme coalition of armed groups.
The Malian govt has been seeking to restore stability and rebuild following a series of setbacks since early 2012, including a military coup d’etat, renewed fighting between government forces and Tuareg rebels, and the seizure of its northern territory by radical extremists. (Xinhua)