Press statement of the 376th PSC meeting on the situation in Mali

By African Union Commission (AUC)
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Press statement of the 376th PSC meeting on the situation in Mali

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, May 17, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 376thmeeting held on 16May 2013, was briefed by the Commissioner for Peace and Security on the latest developments in the situation in Mali. Council further took note of the statements made by the Commissioner for Political Affairs, the representatives of Mali, Burkina Faso, Rwanda, the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU) and the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), as well as by the representatives of France, United Kingdom and the United States, in their capacity as permanent members of the UN Security Council.

Council conveyed its sincere condolences to the Government and the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, following the crash of a military jet which caused the death of two pilots ofthe Nigerian military personnel of the African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA), as well as to the Government and people of the Republic of Niger, following the death, on 11 May 2013, of General Yaya Garba, Deputy Force Commander of the AFISMA Force. Council reiterated its gratitude to all the troop and police contributing countries to AFISMA for their commitment and sacrifices for peace, security and stability in Mali.

Council welcomed the progress that continues to be made in the security and stability areas in the north of Mali, and encouraged the Malian authorities to continue, with the support of the international community, their efforts aimed at establishing the conditions conducive to the return to normalcy, as well as the repatriation and reintegration of the refugees and the internally displaced persons. Council further stressed the urgent need to pursue and intensify humanitarian assistance to the affected populations.

Council reaffirmed its demand for the unconditional disarmament of all the non-state entities in Mali, particularly the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), and the unequivocal affirmation by this group of its acceptance to respect the unity and territorial integrity of Mali, as a prerequisite for its participation in the political process. In this regard, Council welcomed the ongoing initiatives under the leadership of the High Representative of the AU for Mali and the Sahel and Head of the AFISMA, former President Pierre Buyoya of Burundi, in order to find, in consultation with the Mediator of ECOWAS, President Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso and in cooperation with the UN, the EU and other partners, a peaceful solution to the issue of the effective restoration of administration and the Malian Defence and Security Forces in Kidal.

Council took note of the progress made in the implementation by the Malian authorities of the Roadmap of the Transition. In this regard, Council welcomed the regular consultations between the Dialogue and Reconciliation Commission (CDR) and the Head of AFISMA. Council reiterated its request to the Commission, in cooperation with ECOWAS, to help mobilize technical and financial support for the smooth functioning of the CDR.

Council stressed the importance of organizing free, fair andcredible elections throughout the Malian territory, in order to complete the process of restoring constitutional order and legitimacy in the country. In this regard, Council noted the strong will of the Malian authorities to organize elections in July 2013 and urged the Commission, the Member States and international partners to provide the necessary support to the electoral process in Mali.

Council welcomed the outcomes of the, Donors' Conference held on 15 May 2013, in Brussels, at the initiative and the co-chairmanship of the EU, Mali and France, to support the post-conflict reconstruction and development in Mali. Council urged all the stakeholders concerned to speedily translate into deeds the important commitments made. Council encouraged the Commission to design a support programme for Mali within the framework of the African Solidarity Initiative (ASI).

Council took note of resolution 2100 (2013) of the UN Security Council authorizing the transformation of AFISMA into a UN operation, and reiterated the parameters defined in the communiqués of its 358thand 371stmeetings held respectively on 7 March and 25 April 2013. Council took note of the measures taken by the Commission, in cooperation with the ECOWAS Commission and in relation with the UN Secretariat, with a view to ensuring a harmonious transition from AFISMA to a UN Integrated Mission for Stabilization in Mali(MINUSMA), including the meeting which the three organizations held in Addis Ababa, on 8 and 9 May 2013. Council stressed the need for the AU and ECOWAS to cooperate closely in order to ensure a harmonious presence in Mali, with the aim of pursuing, with greater effectiveness and in cooperation with the UN and other international partners, their collective action for a lasting solution to the multidimensional crisis faced by Mali.Council requested the Commission to continue to ensure the smooth running of the deliberations of the frameworks of coordination and consultation which the AU has established within this framework.