Communique of the 941st meeting of the PSC held on 19 August 2020 on the situation in Mali

August 25, 20209 Minutes

Adopted by the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), at its 941st meeting held on 19 August 2020, on the situation in Mali,

The Peace and Security Council

Taking note of the opening remarks made by the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Djibouti to the AU and Chairperson of the PSC, on stand-by, for the month of August 2020, Ambassador Mohamed Idriss Farah, as well as the briefing made by the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui, the remarks by the AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Ambassador Minata Samate Cessouma and the remarks made by the AU High Representative for Mali and Sahel, H.E. President Pierre Buyoya; also taking note of the statements made by the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Mali to the African Union, H.E. Ambassador Fafre Camara and the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Niger to the African Union, in its capacity as the Chair of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), H.E. Ambassador Zakariaou Maiga;

Taking further note of the Statement of the Chairperson of the African Union, H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa, of 19 August 2020, condemning the unconstitutional change of government in Mali and calling for the immediate release of the detained President of the Republic of Mali, H.E. Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, as well as the Prime Minister, H.E. Boubou Cissé and other Members of the Government of Mali; also taking note of the Statement issued by the Chairperson of the AU Commission, H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, on the situation in the Republic of Mali, of 18 August 2020, in which he strongly condemned the forced detention of the President of Mali, the Prime Minister, and other members of the Malian Government and called for their immediate release;

Recalling its previous communiques and press statements on the situation in Mali and in the Sahel region, in particular communiques [PSC/PR//COMM. (CMXXXIV)]; [PSC/PR/COMM. (CMXX)] [PSC/PR/COMM.(DCCCLXIII)]; [PSC/PR/COMM.(DCCCXXXIX)], [PSC/PR/COMM.(DCCLIX)] and [PSC/PR/COMM.(DCLXXIX)] adopted during its 934th, 920th, 863rd, 839th, 759th and 679th meetings held, respectively, on 29 June 2020; 21 April 2020, 25 July 2019, 9 April 2019, 23 March 2018 and 13 April 2017;

Reaffirming the unwavering commitment of the AU to respect the sovereignty, unity and the territorial integrity of Mali, as well as AU’s solidarity with the people and Government of Mali;

Deeply concerned about the evolving situation in Mali, which culminated in the unconstitutional change of the elected Government of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, on 18 August 2020, in violation of the Constitution of Mali, the AU Constitutive Act and the African Charter on Elections, Democracy and Governance;

Reaffirming the imperative for the conduct of credible elections in Member States as the only source of legitimate state authority, to fully comply with AU instruments, particularly the African Charter on Elections, Democracy and Governance;

Mindful of the need for Malian stakeholders to uphold their commitment towards the full implementation of the Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Mali emanating from the Algiers process, which is a viable framework for comprehensively addressing the plethora of socio-economic, governance, security and political challenges facing the country.

Acting under Article 7 of its Protocol, the Peace and Security Council,

1. Strongly condemns the unconstitutional change of Government in Mali, which took place on 18 August 2020, which further complicates the situation on the ground, particularly the implementation of the Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Mali emanating from the Algiers process, signed in 2015, as well as the current efforts in the fight against terrorism and transnational organized crime in the country;

2. Decides to immediately suspend the participation of the Republic of Mali in the activities of the AU until the restoration of normal constitutional order in the country, in line with the relevant AU instruments, particularly the AU Constitutive Act, the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, the 2000 Lomé Declaration on Unconstitutional Changes of Governments and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, as well as the Ezulwini Framework for the Enhancement of the Implementation of AU Measures in Situations of Unconstitutional Changes of Government (2009);

3. Underscores the urgent need for a rapid resolution of the current crisis based on respect for constitutional order and reflecting the aspirations of the people of Mali, within the framework of the relevant AU instruments; in this context, appeals to the Malian people to remain calm and to work together to resolve the crisis in their country;

4. Demands the Malian defence and security forces to respect the country’s Constitution, uphold their professionalism, stick to their constitutional mandate and to unconditionally return to the barracks, as well as to refrain from interfering in the country’s political processes; also demands the unconditional release of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Prime Minister H.E. Boubou Cissé; further demands the defence and security forces to ensure creation of a conducive environment for an unimpeded return to civilian rule;

5. Encourages all Malian political actors to embrace dialogue and reconciliation, within the framework of the Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Mali, as the only viable approach for addressing the current challenges facing the country; also encourages them to continue to devote their efforts and goodwill in expediting the implementation of the provisions of the Agreement, in order to reach a lasting solution to the crisis prevailing in the country;

6. Commends and fully supports the ECOWAS for the sustained efforts being deployed in Mali, with a view to assisting the Malian stakeholders to find a consensual, peaceful and lasting solution to the current crisis in the country; and looks forward to the outcome of the Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government scheduled for 20 August 2020;

7. Encourages the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) to continue supporting the Malian stakeholders, including in the implementation of the 2015 Agreement; also calls on partners to continue providing support to Mali;

8. Underscores the imperative for Africa Centres for Decease Control and Prevention to continue deploying its efforts in the fight against the novel corona Virus Disease pandemic, and in this context calls on it to take the necessary steps to ensure enhanced support to Mali to enable the country to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on its population;

9. Requests the Chairperson of the Commission, working in close collaboration with the ECOWAS Commission, to deploy all necessary efforts in assisting the Malian political actors and stakeholders to expedite the process of restoring normal constitutional order in their country;

10. Also requests the Chairperson of the Commission to provide an update to Council, on the evolution of the situation in Mali, by 17 September 2020; and

11. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.