Mali: Chinese Envoy Calls for Int'l Help With Mali's Security Capacity Building

Ma Zhaoxu, the Chinese permanent representative to the United Nations, told the Security Council that such help should be given to the Malian government so that it can "gradually acquire the capacity to assume security responsibilities throughout its territory."

He stressed that peace and security in Mali are closely related to the overall situation in surrounding areas, which calls for an integrated approach to the fight against terrorism in Mali and its neighboring areas.

"China acknowledges the progress made by the Malian government and its security forces in assuming security responsibilities on the ground, and welcomes the initiative of the G5 Sahel joint force in tackling security threats such as terrorism in the region," Ma said, referring to a regional force comprising troops from five Sahel nations.

Since 2012, northern Mali has faced attacks by Tuareg rebels and al-Qaida-linked extremists.

In 2015, the Malian government and some groups in the north signed the Peace and Reconciliation Agreement. However, attacks by extremists have intensified and moved southward.

At the same Security Council meeting on Mali Friday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres underscored the deterioration of the security situation in the central part of the country.

According to Guterres, more than 240 attacks were carried out against civilians, Malian government officials and members of national and international forces in 2018, compared with 183 in 2016.

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