THE INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT AND FOLLOW-UP GROUP WELCOMES THE MESSAGE TO THE MALIAN NATION BY THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC AND THE MEASURES HE HAS ANNOUNCED
BAMAKO, Mali, August 1, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- As part of the support to the ongoing Transition in Mali, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), including a representative of the ECOWAS Mediator, the African Union (AU), the European Union (EU), the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) and the United Nations (UN) dispatched a mission to Bamako, from 27 to 30 July 2012, within the framework of the International Support and Follow‐up Group established by the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC), in March 2012. The mission's objective was to assess the situation in the light of the efforts being deployed by the Malian stakeholders with the view to: promoting an inclusive transition that upholds human rights and democratic principles; addressing the crisis in the northern part of the country, on the basis of the scrupulous respect of the national unity and territorial integrity of Mali; and contributing to the promotion of regional security and stability.
The mission is in pursuance of the conclusions of the inaugural meeting of the International Support and Follow‐up Group, held in Abidjan, on 7 June 2012; the relevant decisions of the AU and ECOWAS, including the Solemn Declaration on the situation in Mali adopted by the 19th Ordinary Summit of the AU, on 16 July 2012; as well as United Nations Security Council resolution 2056 (2012).
The members of the delegation met with the Acting President of the Republic, H.E. Mr. Dioncounda Traore, on 29 July 2012. They also met with members of the Bureau of the National Assembly, as well as with the Ambassadors and other representatives of the members of the International Support and Follow‐up Group accredited to Mali.
With their different interlocutors, the members of the delegation assessed the situation and considered modalities of a sustained international support, based on the principles agreed to in Abidjan, on 7 June 2012, as reiterated in Security Council resolution 2056 (2012). They reviewed the efforts being exerted by the international community towards the resolution of the crisis facing Mali.
The members of the delegation welcome the return to Mali of the Acting President of the Republic, as a cornerstone of constitutional legality, following the unacceptable assault he suffered on 21 May 2012. They note that this return represents an important step in the process of institutional normalization.
The members of the delegation also welcome the message to the nation pronounced by President Dioncounda Traore, on 29 July 2012. They reaffirm the full support of their respective organizations to his action. They express satisfaction at his intention to rapidly undertake extensive consultations to form a Government of National Unity that would include all the political and social forces in the country. They are confident that such a Government, once established, will enable Mali to meet the challenge of restoring state authority over the northern part of the country and that of the organization of free, transparent and credible elections in the period of 12 months set for the completion of the Transition.
The members of the delegation note with satisfaction the commitment of President Dioncounda Traore to promote dialogue with the Malian rebel groups, with the view to finding a way out of the crisis based on the strict respect of the national unity and territorial integrity of Mali, as well as the total rejection of terrorism, organized crime and recourse to armed rebellion. They also note his determination to mobilize all the necessary means to combat, with the support of the international community, the terrorist and criminal networks raging in the northern part of Mali.
The members of the delegation stress the importance of respect for human rights and the need for all concerned to act in line with the principles that underpin the rule of law, as well as the imperative of reconciliation among all Malian. They reiterate the concern of the international community at the violations of human rights and the prevailing humanitarian situation in the northern part of the country, stressing, in this respect, the need to ensure humanitarian access to the civilian population in need.
Given the urgency and gravity of the challenges facing Mali, which require unwavering unity of all Malians, the members of the delegation make an urgent appeal to all the Malian stakeholders to put the interests of the nation above any other considerations. They urge them to extend their full cooperation and support to the Acting President of the Republic. At the same time, they recall the determination of their respective organizations to impose sanctions against any individuals or entities obstructing the action of the Acting President of the Republic and the overall progress of the Transition.
The members of the delegation reiterate their commitment to continue working together, particularly in the context of the International Support and Follow‐up Group, to assist, in a coordinated manner, the process underway in Mali. They assure the people of Mali of the solidarity of the international community, and call on all the forces vives of Mali to fully assume their historic responsibilities, in order to expeditiously and effectively resolve the crisis.