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N°: 168/2012
17 June 2012 [New York - America]

ECOWAS SEEKS UN SUPPORT IN RESOLVING MALI CRISIS

							
	The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Ambassador Kadre Desire Ouedraogo has 
called on the United Nations Security Council to endorse regional initiatives 
at resolving the crisis in Mali, especially the plan to deploy an ECOWAS 
Standby Force in the country.

Addressing the Council in New York on Friday 15th June 2012, on behalf of the 
Chairman of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, President Alassane 
Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire, President Ouedraogo explained that the “viability 
of the Malian State is on the line,” while regional, continental and 
international stability and security are also threatened by the political 
situation following the recent coup d’état and the separatist rebellion in 
north of the country.

“The security and humanitarian implications of the crisis in Mali appeal to 
our common responsibility and our commitment to maintain international peace 
and security,” he affirmed. “The situation demands a rapid and effective 
coordinated international action to meet the challenges, including actions to:

    Create the necessary conditions to allow the transitional institutions to 
fully carry out their responsibilities while scrupulously respecting 
fundamental freedoms; and
    Assist Mali in restoring its authority and regaining its unity and 
territorial integrity.

President Ouedraogo said the ECOWAS initiative involves helping to secure the 
transitional institutions and the liberation of the cities under siege, as 
well as the fight against established terrorist and criminal networks.

Given that “the demoralized, disintegrated and poorly equipped Malian
army is not in a position to face these challenges alone,” and the need to 
have a stable and legitimate government in Bamako that can carry out 
government business, he said the deployment of a force to Mali, under Chapter 
7 of the United Nations Charter is essential.

“It is critical not only to improve our collective security, but also to help 
secure the transition and the restoration of the sovereignty and the 
territorial integrity of the country, as well as to create the necessary 
conditions for humanitarian assistance and the protection of human rights,” 
the ECOWAS chief added.

The ECOWAS Heads of State and Government at their summit of 27th March 2012 
directed that the ECOWAS Standby Force be put in readiness for deployment in 
Mali to assist in resolving the crisis.

In furtherance of this directive, President Ouedraogo told the Council, that 
in this regard, “ECOWAS is seeking the support of the International Community 
through Council for the regional and continental efforts aimed at mobilizing 
and coordinating international action to help resolve the double crisis in 
Mali.”


Specifically, he said the decision to deploy troops in Mali, is in conformity 
with the mandate adopted by the Mediation and Security Council on 12th April 
2012 and endorsed by the ECOWAS Chairman on behalf of the Authority on 16th 
April 2012.

In this regard, the President said “ECOWAS Member States have already pledged 
to provide 3000 men, who will certainly be strengthened through the 
mobilization of additional troops at the continental level.”

He also informed Council that the Committee of ECOWAS Chiefs of Defence Staff, 
together with experts and military planners from the UN, European Union (EU), 
and bilateral partners, are currently in Abidjan carrying out a technical 
assessment and fine-tuning of the strategy and the operational plan of the 
Mission with a view to ensuring a successful outcome.

According to the President the success of the regional initiative on Mali will 
urgently require the involvement of the entire International Community 
beginning with the Resolution of the Security Council, and the collaboration 
between ECOWAS, the African Union (AU), UN core countries and other 
development partners.

Following the President’s address, the Security Council commended all the 
initiatives undertaken by ECOWAS on the Mali crisis and requested detailed 
information on the planning and operationalization. It also called for 
effective coordination between ECOWAS, AU, UN and core countries, and offered 
strong political support for the initiative.

President Ouedraogo led a high-level regional delegation to New York, 
including Burkina Faso’s Foreign Minister Honourable Djibril assole, 
representing the ECOWAS Mediator in Mali, Nigeria’s Minister of State for 
Foreign Affairs Dr. Nurudeen Muhammad, Minister of Defence for Cote d’Ivoire, 
Honourable Paul Koffi Koffi, Benin Republic Foreign Minister, Honourable Bako 
Arifari, and the ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security 
Mrs. Salamatu Suleiman.

On the eve of his address to the Security Council the President held 
consultations with ECOWAS and AU Ambassador Groups at the UN to brief them on 
the ECOWAS position and strategy in Mali


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