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
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
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
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
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