12 December 2012

West Africa: ECOWAS Council of Ministers Adopts Final Communiqué on UN Secretary General Report

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Council of ministers on December 2, 2012 adopted a final communiqué on the United Nations (UN) Secretary General report, stating that it is disturbed by the seeming lack of urgency in the recommendations as released to the Security Council.

Predicated upon a request by ECOWAS and the African Union (AU), the UN Secretary General recently released a report on the worsen humanitarian and security situation in Mali, authorizing the Security Council to deploy an African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA).

Nonetheless, the ministers Council is urging the UN Security Council to urgently adopt a resolution authorizing the use of force, couple with the deployment of AFISMA in Mali in keeping with chapter seven of the "UN Chapter."

The regional group's decision which was reached during its 69th Ordinary Session held in Abidjan, Cote D' Ivoire from November 30 – December 2, 2012 warned that none-intervention in Northern Mali or any hesitation in the face of the expeditious need to deploy the force may result to the worsening of humanitarian and security situations within the region and Africa at large.

According to the ministers Council, any attempt by the UN not to deploy troop to Mali would be tantamount to failure to assist Malian and an encouragement to further entrenchment of the terrorist and criminal groups with far-reaching threats for regional and international security.

The final communiqué further states, it is the view of ECOWAS that the situation in Northern 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 sub region and beyond.

Reaffirming 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, the Council further urged the AU and ECOWAS to expeditiously dispatch a joint high-level mission to the UN Security Council with a view to reiterating the position of the continent on the situation in Mali.

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