12 January 2013

Statement of the President of the ECOWAS Commission On the Situation in Mali

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Abuja-Nigeria — The ECOWAS Commission deplores that despite the efforts made to find political solutions to the separatist crisis in Mali, the situation has seriously deteriorated over the past days with the attack perpetrated by rebel groups on Government positions, which resulted in the capture of Konna, when the ECOWAS Mediation invited the parties to a dialogue on 10th January 2013.

In these grave circumstances, the ECOWAS Commission reiterates the Community's commitment to support the Government and People of Mali to preserve Mali's territorial integrity and combat terrorism. The Commission welcomes UN Security Council Press Release of 10th January 2013 authorising immediate intervention in Mali to stabilise the situation. The Commission thanks the French Government for its initiatives to support Mali.

The Commission reaffirms the previous decisions of the Authority of Heads of State and Government on Mali. In conformity to these decisions and against the backdrop of Resolution 2085 of the UN Security Council, the Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government, in light of the urgency of the situation, has decided to authorise the immediate deployment of ECOWAS troops within the AFISMA framework.

Measures will be taken to implement this decision. The Commission reiterates its support and encouragement to the Malian Defence and Security Forces and commits to take all necessary measures to repel this attack. It commends the efforts of the ECOWAS Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff in the implementation of Resolution 2085 of the UN Security Council.

The Commission thanks the African Union, United Nations, partner countries and the International Community for their support and calls on all to actively and urgently contribute to efforts aimed at stabilising the situation. It cautions against any attitude which hampers the transition process and the decisions of the International Community, which will be liable to targeted sanctions. Abuja, 12 January 2013 H.E Kadre Desiré Ouédraogo President of the ECOWAS Commission

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