358th meeting of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU) on the situation in Mali

The African UnionADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, March 7, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 358thmeeting, held on 7 March 2013, in Addis Ababa, adopted the following decision on the situation in Mali:

Council,

1. Takes note of the Report of the Chairperson of the Commission on the evolution of the situation in Mali [PSC/AHG/3 (CCCLVIII)], as well as the briefings made by the Commissioner for Peace and Security and the High Representative of the AU for Mali and the Sahel, Head of African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA). Council also takes note of the statements made by the representatives of Mali, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU),France, the United Kingdom and the United States of America;

2. Recalls its previous Communiqués on the Situation in Mali and reaffirmsits unwavering commitment to the national unity and territorial integrity of Mali;

3. Welcomes the progress made in the efforts to recapture the regions in the North of Mali, occupied by armed terrorist and criminal groups, with the prompt and effective assistance provided by France. Council also welcomes the acceleration in the deployment of AFISMA and the ongoing security and stabilisationoperations in order to facilitate the consolidation of gains made on the ground. Council notes with satisfaction the appointment of the High Representative for Mali and the Sahel, former President Pierre Buyoya of Burundi, as the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the Commission and Head of AFISMA, as well as the appointment ofAmbassador CheakaTouréof Togo, as Deputy Special Representative. Council also notes with satisfactionthe establishment, in Addis Ababa, of the Integrated Task Force on Mali and the Joint Coordination Mechanism in Bamako, under the leadership of the Head of AFISMA. Council welcomes the consultations undertaken by the Chairperson of the Commission and the Commissioner for Peace and Security with various African and international actors, including Presidents Alassane Ouattara of Côte d’Ivoire and IdrissDebyItnoof Chad, as well as with the UN Secretary-General, and the interactions of the Head of AFISMA with the Malian authorities and bilateral partners;

4. Expressesits deep appreciation to all the forces engaged in the security and stabilisation operations in the North of Mali, and expresses its deepestcondolences to Chad, France and Togo for the lossof troops in their respective contingents. Council also expresses its gratitude to all Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs)and Police Contributing Countries (PCCs) to AFISMA for their sacrifice and contribution to the effortsfor the liberation and restoration of the authority of the State of Mali in the regions in the North of the country. Council reiterates its appreciation to the core countries for their commitment to facilitate the operations of the AFISMA and the French and Malian forces in the North of Mali;

5. Appeals to all countries and organisations that made pledges to support AFISMA and the MalianDefence and Security Forces at the Donor Conference, held in Addis Ababa, on 29 January 2013, to expeditiously honour their pledges, so as to allow AFISMA to operate in the best possible conditions and to effectively fulfill its mandate aimed particularly at assisting Mali in regaining the territories still occupied, to ensure the security of the institutions and the people and stabilise the security environment in the country;

6. Notes with satisfaction the adoption by the Government of Mali of the Roadmap for the Transition, and its subsequent approval by the National Assembly and urges all Malian stakeholders to worktowards the full implementation of the Roadmap. Council reaffirms its strong support to the authorities of the Transition and takes note of the timetable envisaged for the organisation of the general election;

7. Decides toendorse the decision of the Ordinary Summit of ECOWAS, held in Yamoussoukro, on 27 and 28 February 2013, that the general elections will mark the end of the Transition. Council encourages the Government of Mali to finalise all thearrangements provided for in the Roadmap,and welcomes the establishment of the Dialogue and Reconciliation Commission by the Council of Ministers on 6 March 2013 and calls for its speedy operationalization, with the full support ofall Malian stakeholders. Council warns, once again, all individuals, military or civilian, who interfere in the conduct of the Transition or the functioning of the chain of the military command under the civilian control, and who would be involved in violation of human rights;

8. Urgesall stakeholders in Mali to respectHuman Rights and International Humanitarian Law, and expressesits determination to take appropriate measures against any violation of those rights;

9. Commendsthe convening, in Brussels, on 5 February 2013, of the third meeting of the Support and Follow-up Group and fully supports the implementation of the conclusions of that meeting;

10. Welcomes the organisation, in Bamako, from 15 to 21 February 2013, of the Planning Conference, which, with the participation of experts from Mali, ECOWAS, the core countries, the AU, UN, EU and other bilateral partners, helped to finalise the revised, harmonised AFISMAConcept of Operations (CONOPS), pursuant to Paragraph7 (a) of the Communiqué [PSC/AHG/COMM/2. (CCCLIII)] of its 353rdmeeting, held on 25 January 2013. Council notes with satisfaction that the revised and harmonised CONOPS has been endorsed by ECOWAS at its Ordinary Summitheld in Yamoussoukro;

11. Decides to endorse the harmonized and revised AFISMA Concept of Operations. In this regard, Council requests the TCCs and PCCs to accelerate the pace of deployment in the theatre of operations;

12. Requests the Chairperson of the Commission to immediately transmit the harmonized and revised CONOPS to the Secretary-General of the UN, and requests the Security Council to consider the document favorably.Council reiterates its request to the Security Council to authorise the immediate establishment of a support package funded through UN assessed contributions, as well as the transitional arrangements to allow the completion of the deployment of AFISMA and the effective conduct of its operations;

13. Supports the envisaged transformation of AFISMA into a UN operation. In this regard, Council stresses thata UN operation should, in order to positively contribute to the consolidation of the progress made in Mali and the promotion of peace and security in the region, comply with the following parameters:

(i) the need for such a Mission to be provided with a robust mandate based on Chapter VII of the UN Charter, defined in consultation with Mali, the AU and ECOWAS.This mandate should aim to support the Malian Government in strengthening the authority of the State throughout its territory and to preserve the unity and territorial integrity of the country, including the fight against criminal and terrorist networks operating in the North of Mali,

(ii) the need for the UN to consult closely and adequately with the AU and ECOWAS throughout the proposed transformation process of AFISMA into a UN operation, as well as the appointment of the future Special Representative of the Secretary-General who will lead the planned Mission in a spirit of continuity, with regard to the leadership of the Mission and the contingents,

(iii) the mobilisation, in favour of AFISMA,of financial and logistical support that makes it possible to build the operational capacity of the Mission and to facilitate its early transformation into a UN operation, particularly through the establishment by the United Nations of an appropriate logistical support mechanism to be operational by the end of the three-month period during which the contingents are supported by their respective countries,

(iv) the support for the central political role of the AU and ECOWAS, both in supporting the transition through the implementation of the Roadmap developed in this regard, as well as in the formulation and implementation of the governance and other reforms to be carried out to address the root causes of the multidimensional crisis faced by Mali; and

(v) the support for regional cooperation in the field of security, considering the transnational nature of the threat of terrorism and crime, and given the potential to be realised within the African Peace and Security Architecture;

14. Requests the Chairperson of the Commission to transmit this communiqué and the revised CONOPS to the UN Secretary-General and, through him, to the Security Council, as well as to mobilise, in close consultation with ECOWAS, the support of partners of Africa for the adequate consideration of the concerns expressed above;

15. Requests the Chairperson of the Commission to initiate immediate consultations with the President of the ECOWAS Commission for the establishment, in the wake of the early transformation of AFISMA into a UN operation, of a Joint AU- ECOWAS Support Mission in Mali, whose mandate will be determined in close consultation with the Government of Mali;

16. Stresses the importance of formulating a comprehensive post-conflict reconstruction strategy for Mali, and requests the Commission in coordination with the Government of Mali, ECOWAS, the UN Envoy for Mali and the Sahel, as well as bilateral and multilateral partners, to ensure the coherence of regional, continental and international efforts. In this regard, Council welcomes the offer by the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt to host an expert-level workshop on the issue;

17. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

 

SOURCE

African Union Commission (AUC)

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