Press Statement of the 457th PSC meeting on the developments in the situation in Mali and the Sahel

By African Union Commission (AUC)
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ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, September 17, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 457th meeting, held on 16 September 2014, was briefed by the Commissioner for Peace and Security on the developments in the situation in Mali and the Sahel. Council also listened to the statements made by the representatives of Mali, the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU), as well as by those of France, Rwanda and the United States of America, as members of the UN Security Council.

Council recalled its previous decisions on the situation in Mali and the Sahel, and reaffirmed its commitment to the unity and territorial integrity of Mali, in conformity with the relevant AU instruments.

Council welcomed the resumption of the inclusive inter-Malian talks between the Government of Mali and the armed movements, on 1 September 2014, in Algiers, under the Mediation of Algeria and the facilitation of the countries of the region, namely Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania and Niger, as well as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the AU, the UN, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the EU. Council reiterated its appreciation to the Algeria and the other countries involved in the process, for their continued commitment and untiring efforts. Council also reiterated its appreciation to the AU High Representative for Mali and the Sahel, the Special Representative of the President of the ECOWAS Commission in Mali and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Mali, Head of UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), for their active participation in the ongoing process and their contribution to the promotion of peace, security and stability in Mali.

Council welcomed the launching, on 15 September 2014, of the proceedings of the different thematic groups, following the hearing of various components of the Malian civil society. Council called upon the Malian stakeholders to negotiate in good faith, stressing the need for an inclusive and fair solution, which takes into account the concerns of all Malians. Council reiterated its appeal to the Malian armed movements to harmonize their positions and to demonstrate a spirit of mutual accommodation, in order to find a lasting solution to the crisis facing Mali. Council underscored that the success of the negotiations initiated within the framework of the Algiers process would significantly enhance security and stability in the country and the region as a whole.

Furthermore, Council appealed to Mali's international partners to continue and increase their economic and financial support, so as to contribute to the consolidation of the important gains already obtained towards the promotion of peace and national reconciliation in that country.

Council strongly condemned the terrorist attacks perpetrated on 16 August and 2 September 2014, respectively, against the Burkinabe and Chadian contingents of MINUSMA. Council reaffirmed the total rejection by the AU of all acts of terrorism, which can never be justified under whatever circumstances, as well as the determination of the AU to combat this scourge within the context of the relevant African and international instruments. Council recalled, in this respect, the decisions adopted at its 455th meeting on terrorism and violent extremism in Africa, held in Nairobi, Kenya, on 2 September 2014, at the level of Heads of State and Government.

Council encouraged the Commission to intensify its efforts towards the effective implementation of the AU Strategy for the Sahel region, in close cooperation with the UN and other concerned stakeholders, as well as of the steps agreed upon during its Nairobi meeting, including those concerning the Nouakchott Process on the Enhancement of Security Cooperation and Operationalization of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) in the Sahelo-Saharan region.

Council agreed to remain actively seized of the matter.