Ambassador Thomas Shannon Visits Mali

No: BAM2015-001 ENG

Bamako, Mali, February 25, 2015

Ambassador Thomas Shannon Visits Mali

Ambassador Thomas Shannon, Counselor of the Department of State, is visiting Bamako February 24-25 to support USG efforts to restore security and stability in northern Mali.  Amb. Shannon’s visit demonstrates America’s strong and continued commitment to helping Mali achieve a durable and equitable peace.

This visit will allow Amb. Shannon to better understand and evaluate the effectiveness of U.S. support to the peace effort and to discuss with Malian military and civilian leaders the needs and challenges that lie ahead.  He will be consulting with Malian government officials and international partners.

This high-level visit reflects the United States’ top strategic goal of ensuring that Mali remains a stable, secure partner with whom the American government can address local, regional and global challenges.

The United States is focused on our partnership of assisting Mali in:

• Securing a lasting peace in its northern territories that is viewed as equitable and just by all sides.

• Strengthening its democratic processes and institutions.

• Providing development assistance in food security, health, education, and economic growth to support the Government of Mali’s ongoing efforts.

• Stopping the spread of Ebola in the region, using a whole-of-government approach.

• Reinforcing its security sector and ensuring its effectiveness, with special attention to civilian control over the military.

The flagship program for accomplishing many of these goals is the Security Governance Initiative (SGI), a new joint endeavor between the United States and six African partners – including Mali – to strengthen democratic institutions while offering a comprehensive approach to improving governance in the security and justice sectors so that the Government of Mali can better meet the aspirations of its citizens.

As part of this visit Amb. Shannon is also underscoring the United States’ support for the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).  MINUSMA is an important partner in the international community’s support for Malian efforts to re-establish peace and security throughout the country.  As the largest donor to the UN mission in Mali (commitments of $173 million in logistics, training and equipment support and $115 million in assessed contributions), the United States fully supports the critical role MINUSMA plays in fostering the negotiation and broader national reconciliation processes. U.S. support has enabled MINUSMA to provide much needed stabilization and security in northern Mali, helped facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid and supported Mali’s pursuit of national reconciliation.