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UN urges intl efforts to tackle crisis in Mali

Xinhua | Updated: 2014-01-17 10:35

UNITED NATIONS - The top UN official in Mali on Thursday called for active international efforts to tackle the successive crisis in the West African country and build a durable basis for peace and reconciliation.

Bert Koenders, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, made the call while briefing the Security Council on the work of the UN Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

Noting the country was able to move forward despite challenges, he said "free and transparent" presidential and legislative elections, which took place over the summer, prompted a "full return to constitutionality" in the country.

Koenders said President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita sorted out such priorities as national reconciliation, the fight against impunity and corruption, reform of the security sector and the reinforcement of institutional capacity and development, including the northern regions, to stabilize and economically revitalize the country.

The special envoy urged the government to quickly implement the goals, with support from the international community, which stands ready to assist.

As the head of the MINUSMA, Koenders said the mission will continue to carry out human rights protection activities, including combating sexual violence.

Mali held a successful presidential vote in August to end a crisis unleashed by a military coup in March 2012.

Al-Qaida's branch in North Africa AQIM and other rebels had swept through northern Mali after the coup before being routed by French and African troops in January 2013.

The West African country has restored control of its northern part, but is grappling with a situation where rebels are capable of sporadic attacks.

MINUSMA, established by the UN Security Council last April, has been tasked with supporting the transitional authorities in Mali to bring back stability and implement a transitional peace roadmap.

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