Adopted by the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), at its 1057th meeting held on 14 January 2022, on the situation in Mali;
The Peace and Security Council,
Recalling its previous communiques and press statements on the situation in Mali and in the Sahel region, in particular Communique PSC/PR/COMM.1027(2021) adopted at its 127th meeting held on 02 September 2021; Communique PSC/PR/COMM. (1001(2021)) adopted at its 1001st meeting held on 01 June 2021; and Communique [PSC/PR/COMM. (M)] adopted at its 1000th meeting held on 25 May 2021;
Also recalling the Communique of the Sixtieth Ordinary Session of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Authority of Heads of State and Government, held on 12 December 2021, in Abuja, Nigeria and the Communique of the 4th Extraordinary Summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Authority of Heads of State and Government held on 9 January 2022 in Accra, Ghana;
Takes note of opening remarks by H.E. Ambassador Amma Adomaa Twum-Amoah, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Ghana to the AU and Chairperson of the PSC for January 2022 and the presentation made by H.E. Ambassador Bankole Adeoye, the AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security; also taking note of the remarks made by the High Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission and Head of the AU Mission for the Sahel (MISAHEL), H.E. Ambassador Maman Sidikou and the statements made by the Representative of the Chair of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), the Republic of Ghana, and H.E. Ambassador Salah Francis Elhamdi, Permanent Representative of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, in its capacity as a neighboring country, as well as the representative of the United Nations Office to the AU;
Mindful of the provisions of all relevant AU normative instruments, including the AU Constitutive Act; the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union; the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance; and the Declaration on the Framework for an OAU Response to Unconstitutional Changes of Government, adopted by the 36th Ordinary Session of the OAU Assembly of Heads of State and Government, held in Lomé, Togo, July 2000 (the Lomé Declaration);
Reaffirming the unwavering commitment of the AU to respect the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Mali, as well as the AU’s solidarity with the people and Government of Mali.
Acting under Article 7 of its Protocol, the Peace and Security Council,
1. Endorses the Communique of the 4th Extraordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government which took place on 9th January 2022 in Accra, Ghana, which among others, imposed additional economic and financial sanctions against Mali; further endorses Communique of the Sixtieth Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority, held on 12 December 2021, in Abuja, Nigeria, which reiterated the need for the Transition Authorities in Mali to respect the deadline of the elections without which additional sanctions would be imposed accordingly;
2. Expresses full support to all efforts aimed at creating the necessary conditions to foster a return to constitutional order in Mali, including the efforts of ECOWAS and the ECOWAS mediator, former Nigerian President Goodluck Johnathan;
3. Takes note of the Conclusions of the Assises Nationales de la Refondation which outlined important recommendations on political, institutional and security measures vital for the peace and stability of Mali; and calls for restraint and the need for all Malian stakeholders to engage in dialogue and to continue to work together within the framework of the 2015 Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Mali, which emanated from the Algiers process, as the only means to ensure an inclusive approach to address challenges facing Mali which are fundamentally structural and security related;
4. Expresses regret over the failure of the Malian Transition Authorities to abide by the originally stipulated 18 months’ transitional period in line with the commitment set out in the Transitional Charter and organize free, fair and credible democratic elections on 27 February 2022 as called for by the PSC at its 1001st meeting held on 1 June 2021;
5. Strongly rejects the calendar submitted to the ECOWAS Mediator by the Malian Transition Authorities scheduling to conduct the presidential elections by end of December 2025, setting the duration of the transition for a period of five and half years which is undue elongation of the transition process in Mali; and stresses that this deems unconstitutional, impermissible, inappropriate and a grave obstruction to democratic processes in the country;
6. Calls on the Malian Transition Authorities to respect the Transition Charter and the decisions of the PSC and ECOWAS and organize free, fair and credible elections within a reasonable time to be agreed by all stakeholders; and underscores the imperative of early restoration to civilian led constitutional and democratic order, which is the fundamental roadmap to sustainable stability and development in Mali and the broader Sahel region;
7. Welcomes the proposal made by the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria to accompany the Republic of Mali and the ECOWAS on the salutary path of mutual understanding, and appeals to the Transitional Authorities in Mali and ECOWAS to engage together in this initiative in order to address the outstanding areas of difference with a view for facilitating the return of Mali to constitutional order within an appropriate and feasible period of time, not exceeding sixteen (16) months;
8. In this context, indicates that the implementation of the pertinent provisions of the aforementioned ECOWAS communiques will be considered by the PSC in conjunction with the outcome of the efforts to be deployed by Algeria, in accordance with paragraph 7 above;
9. In this connection, reiterates its strong condemnation on any form of Unconstitutional Change of Government in line with the cardinal AU normative frameworks including the Lomé Declaration on Unconstitutional Changes of Government in Africa (2000), the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance and reaffirms the urgency for Malian transition authorities to swiftly move towards the return to democratic dispensation;
10. Expresses its grave concern on deteriorating security situation and absence of state authority in Central Mali and calls upon all actors to ensure restoration of security and stability in the area; takes note of the meeting of the Follow-up Committee on the implementation of the 2015 Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Mali, which emanated from the Algiers process and reiterates the need for a decision-making meeting among Malian signatories to be held, to enable progress, notably on global disarmament, demobilization and reintegration based on the Government’s concrete offer to integrate 26,000 combatants in the next two to three years;
11. Expresses deep concern at the increased violation of human rights and lack of effective mechanisms for the protection of civilians including women and children, urgently calls on the Government to put in place reliable and efficient mechanisms to ensure civilian protection especially within the regions;
12. Condemns the continued arrest and unlawful imprisonment of Malian Political Personalities and former leaders by the Transition Authorities and demands their unconditional release, protection of their unalienable human rights and whenever needed to undertake judicial process for those facing allegations of offenses according to the laws of the country;
13. Requests the Chairperson of the Commission to swiftly and directly engage with the Malian Transition Authorities and all stakeholders, inclusive of ECOWAS, with a view to finalizing a more practical election timetable that will be acceptable to all Malian stakeholders and which will culminate to a swift return to civilian-led government; also requests the AU Commission to immediately conduct consultations among the direct neighboring countries of Mali and to subsequently present a report on the outcome of the consultations; further requests the Chairperson of the Commission to deploy a technical assessment mission to engage with the Transition Authorities with a view to identify areas which need support in order to expedite early restoration of constitutional order;
14. Commends the United Nations Multidimensional Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), and pays tribute to peacekeepers who lost their lives promoting peace, security and stability in Mali, while reiterating AU’s readiness to actively collaborate with the UN in maintaining peace, stability and security in Mali;
15. Appeals to the United Nations Security Council to equally support the implementation of the ECOWAS Summit decisions and ensure adequate compliance by its institutions, and further calls on all AU Member States to support the efforts of ECOWAS until the restoration of constitutional order in Mali;
16. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.
The recent ECOWAS sanctions put on Mali has had effects of which has sparked more diplomatic ruckus of which we haven’t seen in the Sahel Region or where the French is operating with their Operation Barkhane. The French is without any issues moving troops and military outfits as it deems fit. Without nearly any consideration and only as it’s own “intelligence” serves best.
That why there was lots of demonstrations in December 2021, as moving troops from Bukina Faso across the region caused not only fatalities, but also damaged the French reputation in the region. It killed civilians and didn’t take into account the growing anti-French sentiment in the region. They met locals who disregarded them in Burkina Faso, Niger and such. Which is a story we cannot forget this January 2022.
Colonel Assimi Goïta is now thriving on the anti-French, which was there before his reign. The Colonel is getting the popularity behind this. As his predecessor and former President Keita was not only friendly with the French, but defended their presence in Mali. That was intolerable, as the French has continued their neo-colonial policies in the region and not only fought “terrorists”.
We know perfectly well that the French are there out of business and enriching Paris. They are not there out of charity or humanitarian interests. That’s why the former French colonies has been bound by a Neo-Colonial currency and financial statutes based in Paris. Therefore, the French could easily use their influence and power to sway the ECOWAS to target Mali for their insubordination this time around.
Goïta who in a short time has achieved to not only become temporary head of state and take power of Mali. He can become even more popular by feeding of the righteous anti-French sentiments in the Republic. Since, that was bound and there was a popular protests going on before he had any office or becoming a high ranking official in the Republic. Therefore, we can now see that him and the current administration is wise on thriving on it.
It might cost currency and they get rebuked. The government of Mali might feel a pinch and get declined for grants or direct aid. As the French might stop certain programs or efforts of which it has supported for some time. They might even use their power over International Monetary Fund (IMF) and influence the World Bank as well. Who knows, but the French shouldn’t take this too easy.
The Malian government and administration is right in leaving the colonial master behind. Let the French on the back-burner and the French should be blessed that it has less ramification. Since, the French hasn’t paid a price for it’s practices and violence to get mineral exploitation in the former colonies. It is not like the French was in Western Africa or the Sahel region out of their kindness in their heart. No, they where there to elevate and profit on the plight of the Western African nations. That is just a mere fact and they cannot excuse in 2022.
Goïta shouldn’t just close the airspace and make it worse for air-travel. He should order decrees and try to forge himself out the West African CFA and the whole monetary union, as that is the death-grip of which the French holds over the former colonies.
If Goïta wants true independence and not only words. He should take a step to distance and have own currency. That’s what is necessary, since the French would only feel the pinch and the hurt, if it hits their pockets and takes away their mandates. A mandate it has misused and arrogantly stood for over the years.
Mali deserves this and so does the other nations of West Africa, heck the whole Sahal region deserves that. They shouldn’t bend their knee and be bound by a neo-colonial currencies or monetary policies. That is what it does now, plus it uses it’s muscles with military flexing to defends it’s interests too. Peace.