Communique of ECOWAS Authority Extraordinary Session
26 April 2012, Economic Community of West African States
1. At the invitation of H.E. Alassane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire and Chairman of ECOWAS, the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) held an Extraordinary Session in Abidjan, Republic Cote d'Ivoire, on 26 April 2012.
2. The Summit was convened to examine the political, security, and humanitarian situations in Mali and Guinea Bissau.
3. The following Heads of State and Government or their accredited representatives attended the Summit:
His Excellency Thomas Boni YAYI
President of the Republic of Benin
His Excellency Blaise COMPAORE
President of Burkina Faso
His Excellency Jorge Carlos FONSECA
President of the Republic of Cape Verde
His Excellency Alassane OUATTARA
President of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire
His Excellency Sheikh Prof. Alh. Yahya A.J.J. JAMMEH
President of the Republic of The Gambia
His Excellency Alpha CONDE
President of the Republic of Guinea
His Excellency Dioncounda TRAORE
Interim President of the Republic of Mali
His Excellency Goodluck Ebele JONATHAN
President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
His Excellency Macky SALL
President of the Republic of Senegal
His Excellency Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE
President of the Togolese Republic
His Excellency Brigi RAFINI
Prime Minister of the Republic of Niger
His Excellency Alhaji Mohamed MUMUNI
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Ghana
His Excellency Augustine Kpehe NGAFUAN
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia
His Excellency Joseph B. DAUDA
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Sierra Leone
4. The representatives of the following States and Organizations also participated in the Summit as observers:
H.E. Mohamed Abdel Ould Aziz, President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania
United States of America (USA)
The African Union (AU)
The West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU)
The United Nations Organization (UNO)
The European Union (EU)
5. The Heads of State and Government took note of the reports by the President of the ECOWAS Commission on the latest political and security situations in Mali and Guinea Bissau, and the Chairman of the Committee of Chiefs of Defense Staff on the latest state of preparedness of the ECOWAS Standby Force. They also took note of the briefings by H.E. Blaise Compaoré, President of Faso and ECOWAS Mediator in Mali, and H.E. Alpha Condé, President of Guinea and ECOWAS Mediator in Guinea Bissau.
6. Summit recalled the Statement of 6 April 2012 by the Chairman of Authority on the signing of the Framework Agreement by the stakeholders in the constitutional crisis in Mali, as well as the Statements of 12 and 19 April 2012 by the President of the ECOWAS Commission, following the coup d'état in Guinea Bissau and the establishment of the purported National Transitional Council by the Military Command, respectively.
7. After exhaustive deliberations on the situations in Mali and Guinea Bissau, Summit took the following decisions:
On the Restoration of Constitutional Order in Mali:
8. Authority takes note of the "Solemn Commitment" taken by the Comité National de Redressement pour la Démocratie et la Restauration de l'Etat (CNRDRE) on 01 April 2012 to speedily restore constitutional legality in Mali.
9. Summit welcomes the signing of the "Framework Agreement on the Implementation of the Solemn Commitment" on 6 April 2012 by the stakeholders in the constitutional crisis under the auspices of the ECOWAS Mediator, H.E. Blaise Compaoré, President of Faso, and warmly congratulates him on the significant breakthrough.
10. Summit takes note the establishment of the transitional organs under the Framework Agreement, in particular the nomination of the Interim President, of the Prime Minister and the cabinet, and commends the Malian population and their leaders for demonstrating an admirable capacity for self-sacrifice in the interest of the unity and integrity of the Nation.
11. Authority decides to limit the transition in Mali to a period of twelve months within which, a Presidential election shall be organized to choose a new president. Authority also decides to extend the mandate of the transitional organs notably the Interim President, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet, by the same twelve-month period to ensure, within the limits of powers conferred on each under the Constitution, the continuity of governance in the country.
12. Summit urges all the stakeholders concerned to commit to the faithful implementation of the roadmap until the holding of the Presidential election and the restoration of the unity and territorial integrity of Mali. Authority demands that the transitional authority guarantees the right of return to Mali of the ex-President, Mr. Amadou Toumani Touré, and all other personalities forced to leave the country, as well as their safety and security while in the country.
13. Summit exhorts the transitional authority to take all necessary measures to deploy central administrative organs and services throughout the country, particularly in the north, within the transitional period.
14. Summit welcomes the release of the Malian personalities detained by the military on 17 April 2012, and demands that the CNRDRE strictly fulfill its commitment under the Agreement by respecting the constitutional order and submitting to civilian authority under the Transition. In this regard, Authority demands the return of members of CNRDRE to the barracks to concentrate on their core duties of defending the territory of Mali.
15. Authority cautions members of the CNRDRE that any further arbitrary and unilateral action on their part in the course of the transition shall be met with the imposition of targeted individual sanctions on the perpetrators.
16. Summit expresses gratitude to the six Heads of State designated by ECOWAS to monitor the crisis in Mali, the core countries (Algeria and Mauritania), the African Union, the United Nations and Development Partners, for their cooperation in the process to restore constitutional order in Mali.
On the Rebellion in the North of Mali
17. Summit notes with concern that, despite the so-called declaration of unilateral cease-fire by the MNLA on 5 April 2012, the rebels, terrorist cells, and other transnational organized criminal networks, continue to perpetrate atrocities in the north of Mali, transforming the occupied territory into a zone of banditry and acute insecurity with dire humanitarian consequences.
18. Authority denounces the continued occupation of the regions of Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu by the rebels, reaffirms its commitment to the unity and territorial integrity of Mali, and reiterates its determination to assist the Government of Mali in reestablishing its sovereignty over the entire territory, in accordance with the relevant ECOWAS Protocols.
19. Authority reaffirms the offer of its mediation for a negotiated settlement of the crisis in the north of Mali. In this regard, Authority renews its confidence in the Mediator, H.E. Blaise Compaoré, and encourages him to persevere in his mediation efforts in collaboration with the core countries (Algeria and Mauritania) until the restoration of the unity and territorial integrity of Mali is achieved.
20. Authority welcomes and endorses the wish expressed by H. E. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to join the Mediator, H. E. Blaise Compaore, in the efforts to find a peaceful solution to the crisis in Mali.
21. Authority decides to take all other necessary measures to assist Mali in regaining its unity and territorial integrity. In this regard, Authority instructs the Commission to commence, with immediate effect, the deployment of the ECOWAS Standby Force in Mali, in line with the approved Mandate.
22. Summit reaffirms its commitment to assist Mali and the neighboring Member States in responding to the humanitarian consequences of the rebellion. In that regard, Summit instructs the Commission to take all necessary measures to mobilize resources to provide relief to the affected populations and to protect humanitarian corridors, as well as relief supplies and humanitarian actors, in consultation and cooperation with the core countries and the partners. Summit instructs the Commission to set aside an amount, to be determined, as initial working capital, in accordance with the report of Committee of Chiefs of Defense Staff.
23. Summit expresses its gratitude to the Development Partners that have pledged financial, technical, and logistical support to the ECOWAS humanitarian and mediation efforts in Mali, and calls on humanitarian agencies and the international community to intensify their assistance in this regard.
24. Authority calls on all States, especially the non-ECOWAS core countries, and partners wishing to support ECOWAS in the efforts to restore constitutional order and territorial integrity of Mali. In this regard, Authority instructs the Commission to put in place a mechanism for consultation and coordination with partners for the mobilization of support towards to this end.
On the Political and Security Situation in Guinea Bissau
25. Authority reaffirms the fundamental principle of "Zero Tolerance" for power obtained or maintained by unconstitutional means, as well as the role of the military in a Democracy, as enshrined in the Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.
26. Summit firmly condemns the coup d'état of 12 April 2012 in Guinea Bissau by the Military Command and its civilian associates, and denounces the disruption of the Presidential electoral process, as well as the detention of the Prime Minister and the Interim President by the Junta.
27. Authority reiterates the ECOWAS denunciation of the 17 April 2012 Agreement establishing the so-called National Transitional Council, and reaffirms that ECOWAS will never recognize any unconstitutional transitional arrangement.
28. Authority demands the immediate and unconditional release of the Prime Minister, Mr. Carlos Gomes Junior, the Interim President, Raimundo Pereira, and any other persons illegally detained by the Junta. Authority also demands the immediate restoration of constitutional order to allow for the completion of the electoral process.
29. Authority urges all the stakeholders to submit to the mediation efforts of ECOWAS with a view to agreeing the modalities for a consensual transition through the holding of elections within twelve months, taking note of the written commitment of 16 April 2012 by the Military Command to accept the restoration of constitutional order, based on modalities to be worked out with the help of ECOWAS.
30. Authority instructs the Commission to deploy a contingent of the ECOWAS Standby Force in Guinea Bissau with immediate effect to, among other duties, facilitate the withdrawal of the Angolan Technical and Military Assistance Mission in Guinea Bissau (MISSANG), assist in securing the transitional process, and undertake preparatory work for the immediate implementation of the roadmap for the Defense and Security Sector Reform Program (DSSRP). To this end, Authority has approved the Mandate of the ESF in Guinea Bissau.
31. Authority puts the Military Command on notice that if it fails to accede to all the demands put forward by Authority within the next 72 hours, ECOWAS shall impose, with immediate effect, targeted sanctions on members of the Military Command and their associates, as well as well as diplomatic, economic and financial sanctions on Guinea Bissau, and not excluding prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC). Authority also decides, in addition to the sanctions, to take all other necessary measures in the achievement of these objectives.
32. Authority decides to put in place a Regional Contact and Follow-up Group on Guinea Bissau to be chaired by Nigeria and also comprising Benin, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea, Senegal and Togo, to coordinate the follow-up on the implementation of the Decisions of Summit on Guinea Bissau.
33. Authority reaffirms its commitment to the close cooperation between ECOWAS, the African Union, the United Nations and other partners in our collective efforts to maintain peace and security in West Africa. Authority calls for an intensification of this cooperation, based on the cardinal principle of subsidiarity.
34. Summit urges the Commission to expedite action on the implementation of the ECOWAS operational plan on drug trafficking, particularly in Guinea Bissau, through the mobilization of financial resources within and outside ECOWAS.
35. Authority commends H.E. Alassane Ouattara, Chairman of Authority, for his leadership of the Community and his indefatigable efforts to ensure the consolidation of the rule of law, peace and security in West Africa.
36. Summit warmly welcomes H.E. Macky Sall, the newly-elected President of Senegal, to its fold, and reassures him of its commitment to work closely with him in the promotion of regional integration, peace and security.
37. Authority congratulates His Excellency Dioncounda Traore, Interim President of the Republic of Mali, on his appointment and reassures him of its support in the fulfillment of his mission.
38. Summit remains seized with the situations in Mali and Guinea Bissau, and will take all other necessary additional measures to address them.
Done at Abidjan, this 26th Day of April 2012