1 December 2012

Communique of the Council of Ministers On the Report of the UN Secretary General On Mali

press release

Abidjan - Cote d'Ivoire — 1. The ECOWAS Council of Ministers, meeting at its 69th Ordinary Session in Abidjan from 30 November to 2 December 2012, took note of the Report of the United Nations Secretary General on the situation in Mali, which has been transmitted to the Security Council. The Council of Ministers fully appreciates the efforts made for a comprehensive analysis of the context and challenges.

2. Council is however disturbed by the seeming lack of urgency in the recommendations of the report with regard to authorization to deploy an African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA) as requested by ECOWAS and the Africa Union (AU) after series of consultations with all international partners.

3. Council recalls that, in line with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2071, the Strategic Concept and the harmonized Concept of Operations (CONOPS) forwarded to the Secretary General by AU were developed, in collaboration with the Malian Government and in close cooperation with military and security Experts from the UN System and other key partners, including France, USA, Canada, the neighbouring countries of Mali and the European Union (EU).

4. It is the view of ECOWAS that the situation in the north of Mali calls for urgent action and proactive measures to restore the territorial integrity of the country and dismantle the terrorist and criminal networks which have continued to bring untold hardship and human rights abuses and violations not only in Mali but across the ECOWAS region and beyond.

5. Council considers the assertion that the populations of Northern Mali, especially the Touaregs, are marginalized does not reflect the reality on the ground.

6. Council reaffirms ECOWAS' determination to pursue the political dialogue between the Transitional Government in Mali and the armed groups in the North that are willing to give up terrorism and violence.

7. Non-intervention in Northern Mali or any hesitation in the face of the expeditious need to deploy the force may result in the worsening of the humanitarian and security situations in the region and Africa. It would be tentamount to failure to assist the Malian people and encourage further entrenchment of the terrorist and criminal groups with far-reaching threats for regional and international security.

8. The Council of Ministers urges the African Union to direct the African Group in New York to expedite diplomatic efforts with the United Nations Secretary General and the Security Council Members on this matter.

9. Council further urges the African Union and ECOWAS to expeditiously dispatch a joint high-level mission to the United Nations Secretary General and the Security Council members with a view to reiterating the positions of the Continent on the situation in Mali.

10. The ECOWAS Council of Ministers urges the UNSC to take into account, in considering the report, the urgent need of adopting a Resolution authorizing the use of force and therefore the deployment of AFISMA in Mali, under Chapter 7 of the United Nations Charter.

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