Africa

Switzerland Imposes Sanctions on Individuals, Groups in Mali

Reports say the the Swiss government has imposed sanctions against various individuals and groups in conflict-riven Mali in line with a September United Nations Security Council resolution.

Map of Mali

Map of Mali

According to Swissinfo website quoting a Swiss Government statement, the measures include the freezing of assets of as yet unnamed people and a ban on travel for individuals or entities acting to undermine peace, security and stability in Mali.

The Government of Switzerland in its statement said “At present there are no entries on the list of persons and entities targeted by these measures.”

:Mali has been in a state of crisis since Islamic rebels took control of the north of the country between 2012 and 2013 following a coup d’état in March 2012.  A Swiss missionary worker Beatrice Stöckli is still being held hostage in the West African nation by extremists after her kidnap  in January, 2016 by the Group to Support Islam and Muslims”, the Swiss Government said.

UN Peacekeepers in Mali

UN Peacekeeping Mission In Mali

The Swiss government noted in its statement that “efforts to restore order to Mali have included elections in 2013 and 2016 and the signing of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali in 2015. Despite these measures, difficulties persist in the implementation of the agreement due to government instability, social dissatisfaction and terrorist attacks in the north of the country.”

The sanctions have been imposed in an effort to push forward the peace and reconciliation agreement, the statement added.

There are more than 11,000 UN troops deployed in Mali as part of its Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission which was established in 2013.

Even UN peacekeepers have come under targeted attacks by armed insurgents. In August, eight people died in an attack on a UN facility in Timbuktu.

West African Journal Magazine and Swissinfo