ABU DHABI, 5th March 2016 (WAM) — The United Nations Security Council is in Mali today, the first stop of its visit to the African continent, where it underlined that the 15-member body is united in supporting the country’s peace and reconciliation efforts.

“We are here- the whole Council is here with its entire weight, with one voice, and with the same wish to see Mali reconciled, Malians united to build peace and to continue building the great country you have,” Ismael Abraao Gaspar Martins, the Permanent Representative of Angola and Security Council President for the month of March, told reporters at a press conference in the capital, Bamako.

“It’s the main message we’re bringing with us,” he was quoted by the UN News Center as saying. “During this visit, we will meet with Malians, we will be close to them instead of just listening from afar and reading the reports. We will let them know directly that our main objective is to see the rebirth of Mali.”

The Malian Government has been seeking to restore stability and rebuild following a series of setbacks since early 2012, including a military coup d’etat, renewed fighting between Government forces and Tuareg rebels, and the seizure of its northern territory by radical extremists. The country has also been wracked by a series of humanitarian crises.

WAM/MMYS