Press statement of the 389th meeting of the PSC on the evolving situation in Egypt
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, August 14, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 389th meeting held on 14 August 2013, was briefed by the AU High-Level Panel for Egypt on the evolving situation in that country and on the efforts being deployed by the Panel within the framework of its mandate.
Council welcomed the steps taken by the High-Level Panel, chaired by former President Alpha Oumar Konare of Mali and comprising former President Festus Mogae of Botswana and former Prime Minister Dileita Mohammed Dileita of Djibouti, since its establishment by the Chairperson of the Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, on 8 July 2013, in line with communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.2(CCCLXXXIV) adopted by Council at its 384th meeting held on 5 July 2013. In this regard, Council noted with satisfaction the report on the visit undertaken by the Panel to Egypt, from 27 July to 4 August 2013, and its consultations with the different Egyptian political and social stakeholders. Council expressed its appreciation to the interim authorities and the other stakeholders for their availability and for the cooperation extended to the High-Level Panel.
Council noted with concern that, despite the initiatives taken by Egyptian actors and various members of the international community, the situation on the ground continues to be tense,necessitating, therefore, constructive dialogue between the parties, in order to ensure the long-term stability of Egypt, the cohesion of its people and its prosperity.
Councils trongly condemned the acts of violence that led to the loss of numerous human lives in Cairo and elsewhere in Egypt today and urged all Egyptian stakeholders, in particular the interim authorities, to exercise utmost restraint.
Council expressed its confidence in the ability of the Egyptian people, with the support and active solidarity from the rest of the continent, to finda solution to the current problems, drawing from its history and the genius of its people. Council reiterated its call to all the Egyptian actors to exercise utmost restraint, refrain from any act of violence and embrace the spirit of dialogue, respect and mutual tolerance. Council, in this context, called for an urgent end to all inflammatory statements, as well as to actions that may undermine public order, with a view to creating conducive conditions for fruitful dialogue on the issues that affect the immediate future of Egypt and to allow for an inclusive and peaceful transition that would culminate in the restoration of constitutional order through the holding of free, fair and transparent elections. Council condemned the terrorist attacks in the Sinaï region of Egypt.
Council reiterated the importance of a peaceful, stable and democratic Egypt and noted that any absence of a speedy and significant progress in addressing the current challenges would have adverse consequences for the region and the continent as a whole. In this context, Council underlined the responsibility of Africa to do everything in its power to assist the Egyptian people and actors, in the spirit of African solidarity. Council expressed its conviction that the Panel can make a significant contribution to the efforts aimed at overcoming the current challenges, it being understood that, for the AU, any process that is expected to generate lasting results, should be led and owned by the Egyptians themselves.
Council encouraged the High-Level Panel to pursue and intensify its efforts, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the AU Peace and Security Council. Notably, Council requested the Panel to undertake,as soon as possible, a new mission to Egypt to reiterate the appeal by the AU to all Egyptian stakeholders to totally reject violence, exercise restraint and embrace dialogue in a constructive spirit and mutual tolerance, broaden and deepen the interaction with the Egyptian stakeholders and take any other action that they may deem useful in order to help defuse the current tension and foster a consensual solution. Council is confident that the Egyptian interim authorities and other stakeholders will extend the necessary cooperation, in line with the relevant AU instruments.
Council also encouraged the High-Level Panel to interact with relevant African actorsto keep them continuously informed about the evolution of AU's efforts. Council further encouraged the Panel to engage with international actors, and strongly urged the latter to fully support the Panel's efforts within the framework of their partnerships with the AU.