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The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 468th meeting held on 18 November 2014, adopted the following decision on the situation in Burkina Faso:

Council,

1.    Takes note of the briefing by the Special Envoy of the Chairperson of the Commission for Burkina Faso and the additional information provided by the Commission, as well as of the statement made by the representative of Burkina Faso. Council also takes note of the Memorandum on the situation in Burkina Faso submitted by the President of the Commission of the  Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and presented by Ghana, as Chair of ECOWAS, as well as of the statement made by the representative of the United Nations (UN);

2. Recalls communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.(CDLXV) adopted at its 465th meeting held on 3 November 2014, as well as the press release issued by the Chairperson of the Commission on 17 November 2014;

3. Expresses deep appreciation to the current Chairperson of the African Union, President Mohamed Ould Abel Aziz of Mauritania, as well as to Presidents Macky Sall of Senegal, Chair of the ECOWAS Contact Group on Burkina Faso, John Dramani Mahama of Ghana, current Chairman of ECOWAS, Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, and Faure Gnassingbe of Togo, for their sustained and timely efforts towards the establishment of a civilian-led transition in Burkina Faso, including the visits undertaken to Ouagadougou within the framework of communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.(CDLXV) and the principles underlying the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA);

4. Reiterates its appreciation to the AU and ECOWAS Commissions, as well as to the UN Secretariat, for the joint missions conducted to Ouagadougou, comprising the AU Special Envoy for Burkina Faso, Edem Kodjo, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, and the UN Special Representative for West Africa, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, as part of the overall efforts to facilitate the establishment of a civilian-led transition in Burkina Faso;

5. Welcomes the significant progress made in Burkina Faso towards the establishment of a civilian-led transition, in conformity with the aspirations of the people of Burkina Faso for the consolidation of democracy in their country. In this respect, Council notes with satisfaction :

(i) the restoration of the 1991 Constitution, on 15 November 2014;

(ii) the signing, on 16 November 2014, in Ouagadougou, by all the Burkinabe stakeholders, of the Transitional Charter, leading to the holding, within a maximum of one year, of free, fair and transparent elections; and

(iii) the appointment of a civilian, Mr. Michel Kafando, as Transitional President, on 17 November 2014, and looks forward to his swearing-in, on 18 November 2014, and to the transfer of power by the military, on 21 November 2014 ;

6. Recognizes that these measures are in line with the relevant provisions of communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.(CDLXV) and agrees, in anticipation of the transfer of power to the newly-designated Transitional President, scheduled to take place on 21 November 2014, not to take the measures that were envisaged in paragraphs 9 (iii) and 14 of communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.(CDLXV), including the suspension of the participation of Burkina Faso in the activities of the AU;

7. Expresses appreciation to all the Burkinabe stakeholders and people for their political maturity and sense of responsibility, as well as for placing the interest of their country above all other considerations. Council congratulates them for the achievements made so far;

8. Encourages the Burkinabe people to persevere in their efforts to ensure a civilian-led transition, through the appointment of civilian personalities to head the other transitional institutions, in accordance with their aspirations and communiqué PSC/PR/COMM. (CDLXV), as well as to further reconciliation among all the components of the society;

9. Reiterates the AU’s commitment, in close cooperation with ECOWAS and within the APSA framework, as well as with the UN, to continue to support the efforts of the Burkinabe stakeholders for the completion of the Transition within the agreed timeframe. Council calls on the larger international community to support these efforts and to mobilize the necessary support in favor of Burkina Faso;

10. Requests the Commission, jointly with ECOWAS and the UN, and building on the achievements of the joint missions undertaken to Burkina Faso, to establish an International Forum bringing together the neighboring countries and other regional stakeholders, as well as relevant international partners, to support the transition in Burkina Faso and facilitate the mobilization of the required support;

11. Agrees, in view of the lessons learnt from the management of the situation in Burkina Faso, on the need for renewed efforts towards conflict prevention, based on the relevant AU instruments and Council’s communiqués. Council underlines the imperative of the effective implementation of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, and calls once again on all Member States that have not yet done so to take the necessary steps to sign and ratify this instrument;

12. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Posted by Abraham Kebede

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