6 December 2012

West Africa: Ecowas Ministers Oppose UN Boss - On Intervention Strategy in the Malian Crisis

Foreign Ministers of member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) under the Council of ECOWAS Ministers have taken distant line with the position adopted by the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon, relative to the military intervention plan hatched by ECOWAS in the Malian crisis which is taking toll on the population.

The UN chief is proposing a careful review, fearing unimaginable consequences of the plan but the Council has registered sharp disagreement as it has reaffirmed its call for immediate intervention in Northern Mali.

In a Communiqué' issued to the effect, the Council also requested the African Union to expedite diplomatic efforts with the Secretary General and the UN Security Council Members on the matter.

"The Council's position which has been transmitted to the Security Council was adopted during its 69th Ordinary Session meeting held in Abidjan, The Ivory Coast from 30 November to December 2 2012," a statement issued yesterday said, adding that Liberia was represented by Council of Ministers Meeting by Foreign Minister Augustine Ngafuan.

"The Council is disturbed by the seeming lack of urgency in the recommendations of the Secretary General to the UN Security with regard to authorization to deploy an African-led International Support Mission in Mali(AFISMA) as requested by ECOWAS and the African Union(AU)after series of consultations with all international partners," the Final Communiqué' stated.

The regional group stressed that 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.

Apart from that, it added "it would be tantamount 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."

According to the Council, it is the view of ECOWAS that the situation in the north of Mali calls for urgent action and proactive members to restore the territorial integrity of the country and dismantle the terrorist and criminal network the which have continue to bring untold hardship and human rights abuses and violations not only in Mali but across the ECOWAS region and beyond of force.

The ministers, accordingly urged the UNSC to take into account, 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.

The Council is quoted as urging the African Union and ECOWAS to expeditiously dispatch a joint high-level mission to the United Nations Secretary General and the Security Council member with a view to reiterating the positions of the Continent on the situation in Mali.

While these actions are unfolding, the group reaffirmed 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.

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