Communique of the ECOWAS Chairman On Mali

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Abidjan-Cote d'Ivoire — The ECOWAS Authority expresses deep concern over the deteriorating situation in Mali, particularly the on-going attempt by terrorist occupation forces to capture Konna and progress southwards to positions held by the Malian Armed Forces.

Authority welcomes the UN Security Council Declaration of 10th January 2013 condemning the terrorist incursions and calling for rapid deployment of the African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA), in line with Security Council Resolution 2085.

Authority thanks the Security Council Members and the French Government for their expeditious reaction aimed to stabilize the military situation in Mali. Authority commends the Malian Defence and Security forces for their efforts to repel the advances by the terrorists and hails the ECOWAS Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff for its exemplary mobilisation.

The Chairman of Authority, after consultations with his peers and in conformity to Resolution 2085 of the UN Security Council, decides to authorise the immediate deployment of troops to Mali within the AFISMA framework, to assist the Malian Army in the defence of its territorial integrity.

Authority recalls its previous decisions on Mali and reaffirms its commitment to support the Malian Government in overcoming the security crisis. It shall hold responsible any individual or group threatening national cohesion and the decisions of ECOWAS and the African Union.

Authority urges the Transitional Authority to expedite action on the establishment of an agency responsible for political dialogue with rebel groups which renounce terrorism and violence and recognise the territorial integrity and secularity of Mali. Abidjan, 11 January 2013 His Excellency Alassane OUATTARA Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government

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