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19TH ORDINARY SESSION OF THE ASSEMBLY OF HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT OF THE AFRICAN UNION, ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA, 15 ‐ 16 JULY 2012 / SOLEMN DECLARATION ON THE SITUATION IN MALI

By African Union Commission (AUC)
By African Union Commission (AUC)

7/19/2012 10:00:01 AM -

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, July 19, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- SOLEMN DECLARATION ON THE SITUATION IN MALI
We, the Heads of State and Government of the African Union, at our 19th Ordinary Session, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 15 to 16 July 2012:

‐ Deeply concerned and alarmed by the prevailing situation in Mali;

‐ Noting that the continued occupation of the northern part of Mali by various armed, terrorist and criminal groups poses a serious threat to peace, security and stability in the region and beyond;

‐ Strongly condemning the serious violations of human rights perpetrated in the northern part of Mali, as well as the senseless and unacceptable destruction by the armed, terrorist and criminal groups active on the ground of the cultural, spiritual and historical heritage of this region, notably in Timbuktu;

‐ Deeply concerned by the continuing deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the northern part of Mali, and stressing the need for urgent action to allow the delivery of food aid to the affected populations;

‐ Stressing the urgent need to consolidate the transitional institutions established as part of the process towards the return to constitutional order, to enable Mali address the existential challenges facing it and the mobilization of the required international support to this end;

‐ Expressing our appreciation to ECOWAS, the core countries and the larger international community for their sustained efforts and contribution towards the early resolution of the crisis, and welcoming in this respect the adoption, by the United Nations Security Council, on 5 July 2012, of resolution 2056 (2012);

‐ Noting that the situation in Mali calls into question some of the most basic principles of the AU, notably the respect of the national unity and territorial integrity of Member States, the utter rejection of armed rebellion to further political demands as well as the rejection of terrorism and related criminal activities;

‐ Reiterating the terms of all communiques and decisions of the AU and ECOWAS on the situation in Mali;

‐ Affirming our determination to work collectively to address the prevailing situation and overcome the challenges at hand;

AGREE AS FOLLOWS:

(a) Fully endorse communique PSC/AHG/COMM/1.(CCCXXVII) adopted by the 327th meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council, held in Addis Ababa, on 14 July 2012, under the chairmanship of H.E. Alassane Dramane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire and current Chair of ECOWAS, in his capacity as Chairperson of the PSC for the month of July 2012, which reads as follows:

“The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 327th meeting held on 14 July 2012, adopted the following decision on the situation in the Republic of Mali:

Council,

1. Takes note of the Report of the Chairperson of the Commission on the situation in Mali [PSC/AHG/3(CCCXXVII)]. Council also takes note of the statements made by the current Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the ECOWAS Mediator, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, the United Nations, and by the core countries, namely Mauritania, Niger and Algeria, as well as by South Africa and Togo, as AU Member States in the United Nations Security Council;

2. Recalls its earlier communiqués on the situation in Mali;

3. Reaffirms the unflinching commitment of the AU and that of all its Member States to the national unity and territorial integrity of the Republic of Mali, which cannot be the subject of any discussion or negotiation, and Africa's determination to spare no effort to ensure their preservation. Council also reaffirms the AU's utter rejection of terrorism and the recourse to armed rebellion to further political demands;

4. Expresses its deep concern at the seriousness of the situation in northern Mali, marked by the increasing consolidation of control of the region by the armed, terrorist and criminal groups. Council notes with concern the presence in northern Mali of different armed and terrorist groups, such as Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Ansar Dine, the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJWA) and Boko Haram. Council further notes that this situation poses a serious threat to regional and international peace and security and, as such, calls for urgent and effective action by the entire international community;

5. Strongly condemns the violations of human rights perpetrated by the various armed, terrorist and criminal groups which occupy the northern part of Mali, and the senseless and unacceptable destruction of the cultural, spiritual and historical heritage of this region, notably in Timbuktu, which is a serious violation of international law, and urges that the perpetrators be brought to justice before the relevant international jurisdictions. Council also notes the continuing deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the region, and stresses the need for urgent action to allow the delivery of food aid to the affected populations. Council reiterates the gratitude of the AU to Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Niger, for hosting Malian refugees and for their support and assistance. Council also thanks all humanitarian agencies providing support to the affected populations;

6. Reiterates the full support of the AU to the ECOWAS efforts aimed at resolving the crisis in Mali. In this regard, Council pays tribute to President Alassane Dramane Ouattara, President of Côte d'Ivoire and current Chairman of ECOWAS, President Blaise Compaore, President of Burkina Faso and Mediator in the Malian crisis, President Goodluck Jonathan, President of Nigeria and Associate Mediator, and the other members of the ECOWAS Contact Group on Mali, as well as to President Thomas Yayi Boni, President of Benin and Chairman of the AU, for their commitment and sustained efforts. Council also notes with satisfaction the action of the core countries. Council welcomes the interaction that has developed between ECOWAS and the core countries, and encourages all stakeholders to continue on this path, in accordance with its decision of 20 March 2012, in Bamako [PSC/MIN/COMM.(CCCXIV)];

7. Endorses the communiqués issued by the 41st Ordinary Session of ECOWAS Assembly of Heads of State and Government, held in Yamoussoukro, on 28 and 29 June 2012, and the second meeting of the ECOWAS Contact Group on Mali, held in Ouagadougou, on 7 July 2012. Council also welcomes the adoption, on 5 July 2012, by the UN Security Council of resolution 2056(2012);

8. Reiterates its strong condemnation of the physical assault against the interim President, Mr. Dioncounda Traore, and requests the Chairperson of the Commission, in collaboration with the President of the ECOWAS Commission, to put in place, with the support of the UN, an international commission of inquiry to shed light on the assault and to identify its perpetrators and sponsors, with a view to bringing them to justice. Council requests the current authorities, working closely with ECOWAS, to facilitate the return to Mali of the interim President, to enable him to fully and effectively assume his responsibilities;

9. Reiterates the urgent need to strengthen the transitional institutions, to enable Mali to address the serious challenges it faces, particularly in the northern part of the country. In this regard, Council demands an end to the unacceptable interference of the military junta and their civilian supporters in the management of the transition and the effective dissolution of the National Committee for the Recovery of Democracy and the Restoration of the State (CNRDRE). Council calls for the early finalization of the list of individuals whose action is impeding the transition, to allow for the immediate imposition of sanctions by the AU and ECOWAS. Council requests the UN Security Council and other AU partners to support such sanctions;

10. Urges the interim President and the Prime Minister to immediately commence the required consultations with the Malian political and civil society actors, with a view to forming an expanded national unity Government, as requested by ECOWAS, the AU and the UN. Council requests the Chairperson of the AU Commission and the President of the ECOWAS Commission, in close consultation with the Mediation and with the support of the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary‐General for West Africa and other partners, on the basis of the communiqué of the Ouagadougou Contact Group meeting, to facilitate the holding, as soon as possible, of consultations among the Malian stakeholders, in Bamako, for the formation of the Government of national unity by 31st July 2012, in accordance with the decision of the Contact Group meeting. Council emphasizes that the formation of this Government will mark the completion of institutional normalization and pave the way for the lifting of the suspension measure taken by the AU, as well as for greater mobilization of Africa and the rest of the international community, in support to the efforts of the transitional authorities;

11. Encourages dialogue with groups willing to negotiate on the basis of the respect of the unity and territorial integrity of Mali, and the total rejection of armed rebellion, terrorism and related criminal activities. In this regard, Council reaffirms its support to the efforts of the ECOWAS Mediator and the Contact Group, and stresses the need for continued coordination with the core countries;

12. Reiterates its determination to impose sanctions against terrorist and criminal groups operating in northern Mali, as well as against any other armed group that impedes the search for a solution to the crisis and the efforts of ECOWAS and the AU. In this regard, Council calls upon all Member States concerned to extend full cooperation to the Commission to expedite the finalization of the list of armed, terrorist and criminal groups operating in the northern part of Mali, for their inclusion on the list of terrorist groups established by the AU, in conformity with communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.(CCCXVI), adopted at its 316th meeting held on3 April 2012;

13. Recalls its communiqué PSC/ PR/COMM. (CCCXXIII) of 12 June 2012, authorizing ECOWAS, in collaboration, as appropriate, with the core countries, to put in place the required security and military arrangements, to achieve the following objectives: (i) ensure the security of the transitional institutions, (ii) restructure and reorganize the Malian security and defense forces, and (iii) restore State authority over the northern part of the country, as well as fight against terrorist and criminal networks. Council welcomes the measures taken by ECOWAS in this regard, including the dispatching of a technical assessment mission to Bamako, with the participation of the AU. Council reiterates its call on all Member States and the international community as a whole, for them to provide the necessary technical, logistical and financial support;

14. Welcomes the launching by the AU Commission, during the consultative meeting held in Addis Ababa, on 23 June 2012, of the process towards the development of a strategic concept articulating, in a holistic manner, the political, security and military measures towards the early resolution of the crisis in Mali. Council calls for the early finalization of this concept with ECOWAS, in collaboration with the core countries, the UN, and other partners. Council stresses that this document and the planning conducted by ECOWAS must be mutually reinforcing. Council expresses its intention to consider and adopt this concept as quickly as possible, before its submission to the UN Security Council, to enable the latter to further consider the request of ECOWAS and the AU, in accordance with paragraph 18 of resolution 2056 (2012);

15. Calls upon the African Commission on Human and People's Rights to investigate the human rights situation in northern Mali, including the atrocities committed against the Malian military and their families in Aguel'hoc, in January 2012, and to submit a comprehensive report with concrete recommendations on the way forward;

16. Decides to remain actively seized of the situation”.

(b) Request the Chairperson of the AU Commission and the President of the ECOWAS Commission, in consultation with the ECOWAS Mediator on the Malian crisis, the core countries and other relevant AU Member States from the region, including Chad, to take urgent steps for the effective implementation of all the provisions of the PSC communique;

(c) Urge the United Nations' Security Council and Secretary‐General, as well as all other AU partners, to extend full support to the African‐led efforts and take all decisions required to this end;

(d) Welcome the establishment, by the PSC, on 20 March 2012, of the Support and Follow‐up Group on the situation in Mali, and the holding of its inaugural meeting in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, on 7 June 2012, and call for its strengthening, in particular, the expansion of its membership to include other AU Member States in the region, such as the Republic of Chad, and the convening of specific meetings at the appropriate level in support of the efforts aimed at speedily resolving the crisis in Mali;

(e) Request the PSC to meet, as and when required by the situation, at the level of Heads of State and Government, and/or at ministerial level, to closely follow the developments and take all appropriate measures on behalf of the entire membership of the African Union, in accordance with Article 7 of the PSC Protocol, including the provisions of its paragraphs 2, 3 and 4.