Communiqué from the Network of Journalists for Peace and Security in Africa on the situation in Mali
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, January 21, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Network of Journalists for Peace and Security in Africa (NetPeace) is deeply concerned by the current situation in Mali and would like to express its solidarity with the people of Mali. NetPeace condemns firmly the aggression by rebels and extremist terrorists, who are endangering all efforts to bring democracy in Mali.
It is sad that in this aggression the Media has been the first victims of the double-edged crisis – the threat to national institutions and security to the people of Mali especially the forced closure of some media outlets in Northern Mali, intimidation and other dangers on journalists and media managers.
With its priority being to promote a culture of peace on the continent, NetPeace demands from the Malian authorities and other entities involved in the conflict at every level to ensure access to information sources for journalists, and to guarantee and assure their security. NetPeace asks to journalists in Mali to ensure their actions should preserve and promote peace and national cohesion in this difficult time.
NetPeace asks Malian journalists to respect the rules of the trade and journalistic ethics during their coverage of the unfolding events in their country.
NetPeace also encourages all media professionals engaged in covering the crisis to remain cautious so as not to exacerbate the situation, already very painful for the civilian population in Mali.
NetPeace demands that the whole media community uses much professional strictness and only reports on the facts in a fair, balanced and informative way.
NetPeace asks all the member states of the African Union to assist Mali to ensure the spirit of African solidarity comes to fruition this year 2013, as we celebrate 50 years of the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) under the theme “Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance”.
Mali's case should enhance the sense of Pan-Africanism in every African citizen. On this issue, NetPeace notes with satisfaction the contributing African countries' action, sending troops to intervene in the crisis, and also notes the involvement of France.
NetPeace acknowledges and agrees with African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's call on January 11, asking all member states of the AU to bring “needed support on the logistical, financial and military levels, reinforcing Mali's Defence and Security forces”.
NetPeace is also satisfied by the efforts undertaken by the African Union and the Economic community of West African States (ECOWAS) to organise the quick deployment of the International Mission for Mali Assistance (MISMA) under African conduct.
Finally, NetPeace avails itself to work with Malian journalists to promote a culture of peace and a process of reconciliation between all communities in Mali.