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The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 323rd meeting held in New York, on 12 June 2012, adopted the following decision on the situation in Mali:

Council,

 1. Takes note of the briefing made by the Commissioner for Peace and Security on the evolution of the situation in Mali, as well as of the statement made by the representative of Côte d’Ivoire, on behalf of the current Chair of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Council also notes the participation in the meeting, as invitees, of representatives of the core countries (Algeria, Mauritania and Niger), and the statement made by the representative of Niger;

 2. Recalls its previous decisions on the situation in Mali, in particular its communiqués dated 20 March [PSC/MIN/COMM.(CCCXIV),3 and 24 April 2012[PSC/PR/COMM.(CCCXVI) and PSC/MIN/COMM./2. (CCCXIX)], respectively;

 3. Reiterates AU’s concern at the continued occupation ofthe northern part of Mali by the armed, terrorist and criminal groups operating in that area, the increasing linkages between terrorist and criminal networks, as well as the violations of human rights committed by these groups and the dire humanitarian situation prevailing on the ground;

 4. Also reiterates AU’s concern at the continuing fragility of the institutions established as part of the process towards the restoration of constitutional order, as demonstrated by the unacceptable physical assault against the interim President, Mr. DioncoundaTraore, the continued interference of military elements in the management of the transition and other related acts which undermine the integrity of the transition;

 5. Commends once again President BlaiseCompaoré of Burkina Faso, the ECOWAS Mediator, and President Alassane Dramane Ouattara of Côte d’Ivoire, current Chairman of ECOWAS, fortheir ongoing efforts and the results achieved so far towards the full restoration of constitutional order. Council also reiterates its high  appreciation to them for the timely consultative summiton the situation in Mali that they held in Lomé, on 6 June 2012,and at which participated President Denis SassouN’Guesso ofthe Republic of Congo, Chairperson of the African Union Peace and Security Council for the month of June 2012, President Thomas BoniYayiof Benin, Chairman of the Union, President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé of Togo, President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger and President MackySall of Senegal, as well as Prime Minister CheickModiboDiarra of Mali;

 6. Welcomes the convening of the inaugural meeting of the Support and Follow-up Group on the Situation in Mali, in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, on 7 June 2012, in accordance with its communiqués of 20 March and 3 April 2012, and endorses its Conclusions. Council stresses the critical importance that the Group is expected to play in mobilizing international support for the African-led efforts on the situation in Mali, and encourages it to convene regularly and to take all appropriate steps towards the full implementation of the Conclusions of its inaugural meeting;

 7. Reiterates AU’s strong condemnation of the armed attacks against the Malian State and the unacceptable and dangerous presence of terrorist and criminal groups in the northern part of the country, as well as the threat that recourse to armed rebellion poses to the viability of African states and to the democratization processes on the continent;

 8. Also condemns the violations of human rights and abuses committed by the armed and terrorist groups operating in the northern part of Mali and expresses concern at the humanitarian situation on the ground. Council commends the countries hosting a large number of Malian refugees, namely Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Niger, and recognizes the burden borne by them as a result of this situation. Council also commends the humanitarian organizations involved in the relief operations for their efforts, and urges AU member States and the international community at large to extend the required assistance to the affected civilian populations;

 9. Expresses its full support to all efforts aimed at addressing, by peaceful means, the causes of the recurring rebellions in Northern Mali, and to dialogue with Malian groups that would commit themselves to negotiate on the basis of the following principles: the scrupulous respect for the national unity and territorial integrity of Mali, which cannot be subject of any discussion or negotiation, the total rejection of the recourse to armed rebellion, and that of any relation with  terrorist and criminal networks, which must be neutralized by all possible legitimate means;

 10. Reaffirms its support for the continuation of the ECOWAS mediation, with the participation of the core countries, in accordance with its communiqué of 20 March 2012, and requests the Chairperson of the AU Commission to take the steps he deems appropriate to back the  mediation efforts  and facilitate coordination among all concerned;

 11. Stressesthe urgent need to createa conduciveenvironment to enable the transitional institutions to fully exercise their responsibilities, in conditions of security and without any interference by the military junta and its civilian supporters, as well as the need for the scrupulous respect for fundamental freedoms. In this respect, Council strongly condemns the unacceptable physical assault against the Interim President, calls for the speedy identification and trial of all those involved in the attack, and demands the immediate dissolution of the National Council for the Recovery of Democracy and the Restoration of the State (CNRDRE), whose existence, under any form, is not consistent with the restoration of constitutional order in the Republic of Mali. Council reiterates its determination to take and implement sanctions against all those whose action is impeding the full return to constitutional order, and requests the Commission, in consultation with ECOWAS and other stakeholders, to draw up a preliminary list of individuals and entities, in particular the members of the military junta and their civilian supporters, undermining the process of returning fully to constitutional order, for consideration and action as appropriate;

 12. Expresses its full support to the transitional institutions, and urges all AU Member States and partners to extend the required assistance to facilitate the attainment of the objectives of the transition, namely the reorganization and restructuring of the security and defense forces, the restoration of State authority throughout the territory of Mali, and the organization of free,fairand transparent elections, within the agreed period of 12 months;

 13. Requests the Malian Government to fully assume its responsibilities in the management of the transition, stresses the need for close and continued cooperation between the Government and the different political actors and civil society in Mali on the various challenges facing the country, and encourages all the Malian stakeholders, with the support of ECOWAS,to quickly develop a roadmap outlining the various tasks to be carried out during the Transition, so as to facilitate the attainment of the set objectives;

 14. Reaffirms the provisions of Article 16 of the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council on the relationship between the AU and the Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution, which are part of the overall security architecture of the Union, as well as the January 2008 Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation between the AU and the Regional Mechanisms in the Area of Peace and Security, concluded in pursuance of Article 16 of the Peace and Security Council Protocol. Council, within this framework and recalling its earlier support to the activation of the ECOWAS Standby Force, authorizes ECOWAS, in collaboration as appropriate with the core countries, namely Algeria, Mauritania and Niger, to put in place the required  military and security arrangements towards the achievement of the following objectives:

 

(i)                 ensuring the security  of the transitional institutions;

 

(ii)               restructuring  and reorganizing the  Malian security and defense forces; and

 

(iii)             restoringState authority over the northern part of the country and combating terrorist and criminal networks.

 15. Requests the core countriesto contribute, as appropriate, to the design, planning and implementation of the above-mentioned military and security arrangements in Mali;

 16. Calls upon, as a matter of urgency, the United Nations Security Council to endorse the envisaged deployment of an ECOWAS force as outlined above, and to lend its full support to the efforts being exerted to this end. Council  appeals to all AU Member States in a position to do so, as well as to AU partners, to extend logistical, financial and technical support to ECOWAS and to assist in the restructuring, reorganization and re-equipment of the Malian security and defense forces;

 17. Requests the AU and ECOWAS Commissions, with the support of the United Nations, the European Union and other partners, and in consultation with all countries neighboring Mali, to speedily finalize the work already initiated towards the precise definition of the mandate and the elaboration of the concept of operations and other related documents for the envisaged force, in support of the formal request to the United Nations Security Council, seeking authorization for theprovision of a support package funded by UN-assessed contributions. Council requests the Chairperson of the Commission to coordinate this process with the ECOWAS and all other concernedactors, in order to  finalize it within three  weeks from the adoption of this decision;

 18. Reiterates the need for a regional and long-term approach to address the structural problems facing the Sahel region. In this respect, Council stresses the relevance of the Strategy adopted at its ministerial meeting held in Bamako, on 20 March 2012 [PSC/MIN/DECL.(CCCXIV)],and requests the Commission to actively ensure its follow-up and implementation;

 19. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

 

Posted by Limi Mohammed
Last updated by Abraham Kebede

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