Final Communique From the Extraordinary Summit of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government

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Photo: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
Peacekeepers (file photos).

Abidjan - Cote d' Ivoire — 1. At the invitation of H.E. Alassane Dramane OUATTARA, President of the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire and current Chairman of ECOWAS, the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) held an Extraordinary Session in Abidjan, Republic Cote d'Ivoire, on 27 March 2012.

2. The Summit was convened to examine the latest developments in Mali following the overthrow of President Amadou Toumani Touré and the military takeover of government by the Comité National de Redressement pour la Démocratie et la Restauration de l'Etat (CNRDRE) in the early hours of 22 March 2012.

3. The following Heads of State and Government or their accredited representatives attended the Summit:

- His Excellency Thomas Boni YAYI

- President of the Republic of Benin

- His Excellency Blaise COMPAORE

- President of Burkina Faso

- His Excellency Alassane Dramane OUATTARA

- President of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire

- His Excellency John Evans ATTA-MILLS

- President of the Republic of Ghana

- His Excellency Raimundo PEREIRA

- Interim President of the Republic of Guinea Bissau

- Her Excellency Ellen JOHNSON-SIRLEAF

- President of the Republic of Liberia

- His Excellency Issoufou MAHAMADOU

- President of the Republic of Niger

- His Excellency Ernest Bai KOROMA

- President of the Republic of Sierra Leone

- His Excellency Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE

- President of the Togolese Republic

- His Excellency Mohamed Said FOFANA

- Prime Minister of the Republic of Guinea

- His Excellency Madicke NIANG

- Senior Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Senegal

- His Excellency Mamadou TANGARA

- Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad

- His Excellency Nurudeen MOHAMMAD

- Minister of State of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

4. The meeting was also attended by the following high ranking officials:

- His Excellency Ramtane LAMAMRA

- Commissioner of Peace and Security of AU Representing Chairman of the African Union Commission

- His Excellency Said DJINNIT

- Special Representative of United Nations Secretary General in West Africa

- His Excellency Cheikhe Haguibou SOUMARE

- President of UEMOA Commission

- His Excellency Messahel ABDELKADER

- Minister of State in charge of Maghrebian and African Affairs of Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria

- His Excellency Sidi Ould TAH

- Minister of Economic Affairs and Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.

5. The Heads of State and Government took note of the briefing by the President of the ECOWAS Commission on the current situation in Mali, including the report of the ECOWAS Fact-Finding Mission to Mali from 16th -18th March 2012 and the joint mission of ECOWAS, AU and UN to Mali on 23th March 2012, as well as the briefings on the emergency meeting of the Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff on the threats in the Sahel region and the Gulf of Guinea held in Abidjan on 9th March 2012, and also the meeting held in the margins of the Summit.

6. Summit recalled the Statement by ECOWAS of 21st March 2012 on the mutiny by a section of the Malian Armed Forces, and the Reaction of ECOWAS to the coup d'état on 22th March 2012. It also recalled the Decisions taken at its 40th Ordinary Summit in Abuja from 16th -17th February 2012 on the situation in Mali. After exhaustive deliberations on the situation in Mali, Summit took the following decisions: On the take-over of Government by the Comité National de Redressement pour la Démocratie et la Restauration de l'Etat (CNRDRE):

7. Authority reaffirms the inviolability of ECOWAS Protocols, in particular the pertinent provisions of the Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance (2001), which declare "Zero Tolerance" for power obtained or maintained by unconstitutional means.

8. Authority unequivocally condemns the overthrow of the democratically- elected Government of President Amadou Toumani Toure, categorically denies any form of legitimacy to the Comité National de Redressement pour la Démocratie et la Restauration de l'Etat Junta, and demands the immediate restoration of constitutional order in Mali.

9. Summit reminds the CNRDRE of its responsibility for the safety and security of President Amadou Toumani Touré.

10. Summit deplores the debilitating impact of the coup d'état on the painstaking gains made by the ECOWAS Region in the past two decades to enhance stability and entrench democratic culture and the rule of law.

11. Authority suspends Mali from all decision-making bodies of ECOWAS with immediate effect, in accordance with Articles 1(e) and 45(2) of the Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, and the provisions of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.

12. Summit demands that the CNRDRE release all political detainees and that it facilitate the departure from the country of all visitors trapped by the coup d'état.

13. Summit demands the CNRDRE to take immediate steps to restore constitutional order in Mali, in line with ECOWAS Protocols and bearing in mind the decisions adopted by the AU Peace and Security Council on the situation in Mali.

14. Summit decides to dispatch a high-level delegation to Mali within the next forty-eight hours to secure the speedy restoration of constitutional order. The delegation, to be led by H.E. Alassane Dramane Ouattara, Chairman of Authority, shall also comprise H.E. Thomas Boni Yayi, Chairman of the African Union, H.E. Blaise Compaore, President of Faso, H.E. Ellen Johnson- Sirleaf, President of Liberia, H.E. Issoufou Mahamadou, President of Niger, and H.E. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, President of Nigeria.

15. In addition, Summit decides to dispatch a five-member delegation comprising the Chiefs of Defence Staff of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo to Mali, with the mandate to: i. sensitize the Junta on the need for the immediate return to constitutional order; ii. inform the Junta about the recent measures which were envisaged by ECOWAS to assist Mali in preserving its territorial integrity; iii. evaluate the military situation on the ground and the command chain; iv. intimate the Junta about the sanctions to which they are liable in the event of non-compliance with Authority decisions; v. inform the CNRDRE that ECOWAS shall take all necessary measures to re- establish constitutional order in Mali.

16. Summit instructs the ECOWAS Commission to put the ECOWAS Standby Force on high alert for all eventualities.

17. In the event of non-compliance by the CNRDRE with these Decisions, Summit invites all Member States to impose a travel ban, as well as a diplomatic and financial embargo, on the members of the CNRDRE and their close collaborators with immediate effect. In this regard, Summit welcomes the decision by the European Union and other partners to suspend development assistance to Mali, and calls on other partners who have not yet done so, to take similar measures. On the Rebellion in the North of Mali

18. Summit reiterates its firm condemnation of the atrocities being perpetrated by the rebels, as well as the activities of terrorist cells and networks of transnational organized crime, which have transformed the northern parts of Mali into a zone of acute insecurity and banditry.

19. Summit condemns the opportunistic decision by the armed groups to take undue advantage of the constitutional crisis in Mali to intensify attacks and capture more territory in the north, and reaffirms ECOWAS' determination to take all necessary measures in support of efforts aimed at safeguarding the territorial integrity of Mali.

20. Authority once more demands an immediate cease-fire throughout Mali, and calls on all armed groups operating in the country to seek redress of grievances through dialogue within the framework of the territorial integrity of Mali.

21. Authority decides to appoint H.E. Blaise Compaore, President of Faso, as Mediator in the Malian crisis with the mandate to interact with all concerned stakeholders with a view to engaging them in a fruitful dialogue for the restoration of peace in the country, taking into account all the on-going efforts in this direction.

22. In the event the armed groups fail to comply with these Decisions, Summit shall take all necessary measures to end the rebellion and ensure the territorial integrity of Mali, including the use of force.

23. Summit remains seized with the situation in Mali, and instructs the President of the ECOWAS Commission to transmit its decisions to the Chairman of the AU Commission and to the AU Peace and Security Council for information and appropriate action. On the presidential election in Senegal.

24. Summit congratulates candidate Macky Sall for his remarkable victory in the 25 March 2012 Presidential run-off election in Senegal, and His Excellency Abdoulaye Wade, the outgoing President, for gracefully accepting defeat, and for his contribution to the consolidation of democracy in Senegal and West Africa. Summit commends the people of Senegal for once more setting an example for the African continent by demonstrating maturity and democratic culture.

25. Under Any Other Business, Summit decides as follows: i) To dispatch a joint ECOWAS-AU-UN fact-finding mission to Guinea Bissau in connection with the forthcoming presidential run-off election as well as the security situation in the country ii) To support the candidature of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance of Nigeria, for the post of President of the World Bank, and invite the African Union to support this sole African candidate.

26. Summit was briefed by the AU Chairman, H.E. Thomas Boni YAYI on efforts being made by the Group of eight-member States of AU to break the deadlock in the appointment of the next Chairman of the AU Commission, assuring that much progress has been achieved.

Done at Abidjan this 27th Day of March 2012

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