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Solemn Declaration of the Assembly of the Union on the Situation in Mali

By African Union Commission (AUC)
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ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, January 28, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Solemn Declaration of the Assembly of the Union on the Situation in Mali

We, the Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU), meeting at our twentieth Ordinary Session, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 27 and 28 January 2013:

- DEEPLY CONCERNED about the security situation in Mali, as well as the continuing deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the northern part of the country;

- REITERATINGOUR FIRM COMMITMENT to thenational unity and territorial integrity of the Republic of Mali;

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

- REAFFIRMINGAfrica'sdeep solidarity with Mali, a founding member of the OAU and of our Union, whose commitment to Pan-Africanism and the causes of the continent never wavered in half a century of independence, and our determination to pool our efforts together to help this sisterlycountry overcome the challenges currently facing it;

- WELCOMING the progress being made in Mali towards addressing the challenges at hand, in particular the adoption of the Transition Roadmap;

- EXPRESSING OUR DEEP APPRECIATION to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the core countries, the other African countries contributing troopsand all bilateral and multilateral partners, andACKNOWLEDGING INTHAT RESPECT the substantial assistance extended by France in these trying moments for Mali;

- FURTHER REAFFIRMING our previous and ECOWAS decisions on the situation in Mali.

Decides as follows:

(A) FULLY ENDORSEcommuniqué PSC/AHG/COMM/2. (CCCLIII) adopted by the 353rd meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC),held in Addis Ababa, on 25 January, 2013, under the chairmanship of H.E.MwaiKibaki, President of the Republic of Kenya, in his capacity as Chairperson of the PSC for the month of January 2013, which reads as follows:

“The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 353rd meeting held on 25 January 2013, adopted the following decision on the situation in the Republic of Mali:


1. Takes note of the report of the Chairperson of the Commission on the evolution of the situation in Mali [PSC/AHG/3(CCCLIII)], as well as of the briefings made by the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security and the AU High Representative for Mali and Sahel. Council also takes note of the statements made by the representatives of Mali, the Economic Community of West African States – ECOWAS (Mediation and Commission), the core countries, namely, Algeria, Mauritania and Niger, as well as by the United Nations and the European Union (EU);

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

3. Reaffirms AU's commitment to the national unity and territorial integrity of the Republic of Mali, as well as Africa's determination to spare no efforts to ensure their safeguard. Council reaffirms, once again, AU's total rejection of terrorism and transnational crime, as well as of recourse to armed rebellion to further political claims;

4. Reiterates its profound concern at the serious threat that the presence, in the northern part of Mali, of different armed terrorist and criminal groups, such as Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Ansar Din and the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), pose to regional and international peace and security, as well as its firm condemnation of the abuses committed by these groups against the civilian population and the destruction of monuments of historical, cultural and religious significance. Council also noteswith great concern the continued deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the region;

5. Reiterates AU's strongcondemnation of the attacks perpetrated by an alliance of armed terrorist and criminal groups against the city of Konna, in the Mopti area, on 10 January 2013. In this respect, Council expresses satisfaction at the fact that the prompt and efficient assistance extended by France at the request of the Malian authorities, within the framework of Security Council resolution 2085 (2012) and article 51 of the United Nations Charter, has made it possible to block the military offensive launched by these groups and to commence regaining control over the areas they occupy. Council also welcomes the decision by several Member States, both from and outside the region, to contribute troops as part of the African-led Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA). Council reiterates its appreciation to ECOWAS and its current Chairman, President AlassaneDramaneOuattara of Côte d'Ivoire, for all the initiatives taken to address the sudden deterioration of the situation, and endorses the communiqué of the ECOWAS Extra-ordinary Summit held in Abidjan, on 19 January 2013. Council commends the immediate neighbors of Mali for the measures they have taken to strengthen the monitoring of their borders, in order to prevent any movement of combatants and flow of supplies in favor of the armed rebel, terrorist and criminal groups;

6. Strongly condemns the terrorist attack against the In Amenas gas processing facility in Algeria, on 16 January 2013. Council expresses its sympathy and solidarity with the families of the victims, as well as with the Government of Algeria and the other countries whose citizens were affected by the attack. Council expresses support for the steps taken by the Government of Algeria to deal with the situation, and notes that the professionalism of the Algerian Armed Forces has made it possible to save hundreds of human lives, of both Algerian and foreign workers, and to limit the material damage to the gas processing facility;

7. Stresses the need to expedite AFISMA's deployment and to ensure its efficient running, as well as the need to enhance the capacity of the Malian Defence and Security Forces (MDSF). In this respect, Council:

(a) requests the AU and ECOWAS Commissions, in collaboration with the United Nations, the EU and other partners, to revise the AFISMA Concept of Operations (CONOPS), as endorsed by its 341st meeting, held on 13 November 2012 [PSC/PR/COMM.2(CCCXLI)], in order to increase AFISMA's strength, including through the integration of the troops provided by Chad and other contingents that are being prepared and, in so doing, to better respond to the needs on the ground;

(b) requests the Chairperson of the Commission, in consultation with the President of ECOWAS Commission and the Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs), to immediately appoint the Special Representative, Head of AFISMA, and to put in place all necessary mechanisms to ensure effective command and control;

(c) requests the AU Commission, together with ECOWAS and the United Nations, to immediately put in place the Mali Integrated Task Force (MITF), to ensure coordinated strategic implementation of the relevant decisions of the three organizations on the situation in Mali;

(d) requests the AU and ECOWAS Commissions to deploy, as quickly as possible, as part of AFISMA and with the support of the African Commission on Human and People's Rights (ACHPR), civilian observers to monitor the human rights situation in the liberated areas and to assist the Malian authorities to create the necessary conditions for lasting reconciliation among the different components of the Malian population, as well as for the consolidation of peace in the country;

(e) urges all AU Member States, in line with its relevant decisions and United Nations Security Council resolutions, to extend the necessary financial and logistical support to AFISMA and to the MDSF, and to seize the opportunity of the donors' conference, scheduled to take place in Addis Ababa, on 29 January 2013, to meaningfully contribute towards the mobilization of the necessary resources;

(f) decides, without prejudice to the contributions that Member States are expected to make during the donors' conference referred to above, to recommend to the Assembly of the Union to instruct that part of AFISMA budget be covered by assessed contributions from AU Member States, and requests the Commission to take all necessary steps to this end;

(g) invites Member States willing to contribute troops for AFISMA to notify the AU and ECOWAS Commissions of their intentions, within a period of one week, in order to facilitate the efforts aimed at enhancing AFISMA and appropriate arrangements for their deployment, as early as possible; and

(h) requests the immediate neighbors of Mali to provide the necessary support in terms of intelligence and any other support that could facilitate the ongoing operations, and the restoration of the authority of the Malian State on its entire national territory. In this respect, Council encourages the Commission to convene, as soon as possible, a meeting bringing together Mali's neighbors, members of ECOWAS, the Joint Operational Command (CEMOC) and the Fusion and Liaison Unit (UFL), to facilitate coordination and enhance the effectiveness of the border monitoring measures;

8. Expresses once again, AU's gratitude to all the bilateral and multilateral partners supporting AU and ECOWAS efforts in Mali. Council urges the international partners to generously contribute financially and logistically to AFISMA and to the MDSF on the occasion of the donors' conference of 29 January 2013, in line with the relevant provisions of resolution 2085 (2012). Council also expresses appreciation to the EU for its commitment to provide support to Mali, including through the deployment of a Training Team to contribute to capacity building efforts for the MDSF;

9. Expresses its appreciation to the United Nations Secretary-General for the arrangements already made in the context of the implementation of resolution 2085 (2012), including the establishment of a Trust Fund for AFISMA and the MDSF. Council, while recalling its request for the establishment of a support package funded by UN-assessed contributions, urges the Security Council to authorize, in the meantime, the immediate establishment by the UN of temporary arrangements that would enable AFISMA to speedily deploy and effectively implement its mandate;

10. Renews AU's support to President DioncoundaTraoré and to his Prime Minister DiangoCissoko, who have the responsibility of successfully carrying out the Transition, and urges them to take the necessary steps for the elaboration and adoption of the Transition Roadmap, including measures to be taken for the holding of free, transparent and credible elections, ahead of the meeting of the Support and Follow-up Group scheduled to take place in Brussels, on 5 February 2013. Council also encourages the Malian authorities to resolutely work towards national reconciliation, including within the MDSF, as well as towards the emergence of a consensus on the key challenges at hand, in order to facilitate efforts aimed at addressing the root causes of the multidimensional crisis facing Mali;

11. Expresses its determination, in close cooperation with ECOWAS and with the support of the rest of the international community, to take measures against all individuals, civilian and military, undermining the conduct of the Transition and the military chain of command;

12. Stresses the continued relevance of the Strategic Concept for the Resolution of the Crises in Mali, as adopted at its 337th meeting held on 24 October 2012 [PSC/MIN/COMM.2(CCCXXXIX], and encourages the Chairperson of the Commission to continue and intensify the efforts being deployed towards the implementation of the Strategic Concept. In this respect, Council welcomes the sustained efforts of the AU High Representative for Mali and Sahel, former President Pierre Buyoya, including his visits to Mali and other countries in the region. Council further welcomes the steps being taken to enhance AU's presence on the ground, and requests the urgent operationalization of the AU Liaison Office in Bamako;

13. Requests the Commission to develop, in consultation with the Government of Mali, ECOWAS, as well as bilateral and multilateral partners, a strategy for post-conflict reconstruction in Mali, as part of the AU Strategy for Sahel, as endorsed by Council at its 314th meeting held in Bamako on 20 March 2012 [PSC/MIN/DECL.(CCXIV)], as well as within the framework of the African Solidarity Initiative (ASI);

14. Stresses the need for the early operationalization of the African Standby Force (ASF) Rapid Deployment Capability (RDC), within the framework of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). In this respect, Council requests the Commission to submit to it a report on progress made and challenges encountered, ahead of the 21st Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union, scheduled to take place in Addis Ababa, in May 2013;

15. Decides to remain actively seized of the situation, and requests the Chairperson of the Commission to submit to it monthly reports on the evolution of the situation in Mali”.


- MINDFULof the fact that all necessary resources should be mobilized to enable the African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA), authorized by the PSC and United Nations Security Council under resolution 2085 (2012), to successfully deploy and carry out its mandate; and

- STRESSING Africa's responsibility to extend utmost solidarity with Mali in the context of the celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the OAU/AU and in furtherance of Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance, in order to lead by example:

(i) Decides that the AU shall contribute a total amount of 50 million, out of the budget for AFISMA, which amounts to USD 460 million, to be paid as follows: USD 20 million from arrear contributions to the AU regular budget, USD 5 million from the Peace Fund and USD 25 million to be assessed among Member States on the basis of the scale of assessment to the AU regular budget. The Assembly further decides that, out of this amount,45million shall be used to contribute to cover AFISMA budget, and 5 million to support the Malian Defense and Security Forces (MDSF);

(ii) Strongly urges all Member States to seize the opportunity of the donors conference scheduled to take place in Addis Ababa, on 29 January 2013, to generously contribute, in a spirit of Pan-African solidarity and shared responsibilities, financial, logistical and other in-kind support to AFISMA and the MDSF;

(iii) Requests the Commission to immediately implement this decision in its entirety and to ensure that the agreed amount is made available without delay; and

(iv) Requests the Chairperson of the Commission to report to it at its next Ordinary Session on steps taken in furtherance of this decision.