Chinese envoy calls for increased support for Mali's counterterrorism, stability efforts

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UNITED NATIONS, April 12 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese envoy on Wednesday called for international support for Mali's counterterrorism efforts.

During a Security Council briefing on the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), China's permanent representative to the United Nations Zhang Jun emphasized the importance of international support for Mali's efforts to counter terrorism and maintain stability, noting it is "the number one priority."

"The Malian Government has been vigorously conducting counterterrorism operations, and has launched a strategy to stabilize central regions and made robust efforts to improve the regional situation and ensure the safety and security of its people. Such efforts merit our recognition," he said.

"Assistance must be increased in inter alia funding equipment, intelligence, and logistics," he added.

The ambassador said that MINUSMA must effectively fulfill its mandate from the Security Council and provide all-round support.

"Some countries spoke of the human rights issue. We believe the ultimate purpose of counterterrorism operations is to protect the rights of civilians to life and security and other basic human rights. We object to using human rights as a political instrument to interfere with counterterrorism operations," Zhang said.

"And we are not in favor of linking human rights with counterterrorism support and assistance. Doing so would amount to intervention in Mali's sovereignty and would in fact be counterproductive to the protection of human rights," the envoy added.

Zhang underscored the importance of "promoting the implementation of the peace agreement," noting that "this is critical to maintaining peace and stability in Mali."

"We look forward to concerted efforts by the Malian Government and other signatories. we commend and support Algeria for its mediation and good offices," he said.

"The parties should effectively fulfill their commitments, and adopt measures such as high-level dialogue to accommodate each other's concerns and resolve their differences in a collective effort to maintain national sovereignty, security and unity."

Zhang said that MINUSMA must provide more support in areas such as the compliance of parties with the ceasefire arrangement, advancing the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration process, and capacity building for the national security forces.

"China supports MINUSMA in rolling out the community violence reduction projects and quick impact projects in central and northern Mali and providing more support for water supply, agriculture, infrastructure, vocational training, and so on, to eliminate the root causes of conflicts," he added.

Speaking about the political transition in the country, Zhang said that the Malian authorities have engaged in extensive dialogue with the parties and have done a great deal of work in formulating the Constitution, preparing for the general elections, and so on.

"The international community should support the parties in Mali in seizing the opportunity of the political transition, resolving their differences through dialogue, and ensuring the smooth holding of general elections, so as to lay a solid foundation for durable stability in Mali," he said.

China supports the Economic Community of West African States in its continued good offices and mediating efforts on the basis of respect for Mali's sovereignty and ownership, the ambassador said.

"The international community must remain patient, provide more support and encouragement for Mali's political transition, and take practical steps to help Mali tackle any difficulties that may arise in the electoral preparations and other areas," added the envoy.

"China supports closer communication between the mission and the Malian authorities to resolve issues through dialogue and consultation," he said, adding that "it is our view that the Security Council should listen attentively to the views of the Malian government, and streamline and optimize the mandate of the mission as necessary to enhance its operational performance."

"China is ready to work with the international community to make greater contributions to lasting peace and development in Mali," concluded the ambassador. Enditem

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