12 August 2013 – The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali has reported that no major incidents occurred on Sunday during the second round of presidential elections, although heavy rains hampered the smooth conduct of voting operations in many parts of the country.
In accordance with its mandate, the UN Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) provided technical and logistical assistance for yesterday’s run-off as well as for the first round of voting held on 28 July, in addition to support to the Malian security authorities.
“In a bid to speed up the process, the Mission is also assisting the Malian electoral authorities with the return of result sheets by airlift from areas where it is deployed in Gao, Timbuktu and Kidal,” UN spokesperson Eduardo del Buey told reporters in New York.
Also, on Sunday, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of MINUSMA, Bert Koenders, visited Kidal accompanied by observers from the European Union, the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
He visited polling stations in Kidal and then Mopti before returning to see more voting areas in Bamako on his return to the capital.
The elections are seen as an important step on the path to recovery for Mali, which, since early 2012, witnessed a military coup d'état, renewed fighting between Government forces and Tuareg rebels, and the seizure of its northern territory by radical Islamists.