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COMMUNIQUÉ

 

The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 484th meeting held on 29 January 2015, at the level of Heads of State and Government, adopted the following decision on the Ebola virus outbreak in the affected countries in West Africa:

Council,

 

  1. Takes note of the briefing provided by the Commission on the Ebola outbreak in the affected countries in West Africa and on the national and international efforts to address this situation. Council also takes note of the statements made by the representatives of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, as well as by the representative of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS);

 

  1. Recalls its earlier communiqués and press statements on the Ebola outbreak, in particular communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.(CDL) adopted at its 450th meeting held on 19 August 2014, which authorized the deployment of an AU-led military, civilian and humanitarian mission, as well as decision Ext/EX.CL/Dec.1(XVI) on the same issue, adopted by the 16th Extraordinary Session of the Executive Council held in Addis Ababa on 8 September 2014;

 

  1. Commends the Chairperson of the Commission for her outstanding commitment in the fight against Ebola and the efforts being deployed in response to the epidemic in West Africa, including the deployment of the AU Support Mission for the Fight Against the epidemic in West Africa (ASEOWA), and the visit she undertook, together with the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), to the countries most affected by the epidemic, as well as for the steps she has taken to mobilize the African private sector and people to contribute to the ongoing efforts;

 

  1. Further commends the countries of the region, under the auspices of ECOWAS, the other AU Member States, as well as the rest of the international community, including the UN, the European Union (EU), the AfDB and other multilateral and bilateral partners for their sustained efforts and the steps taken to contain and eliminate the Ebola outbreak. Council calls on all AU Member States and other members of the international community, which have not yet done so to join the fight against Ebola and extend the necessary support to ASEOWA and the countries of the region;

 

  1. Expresses deep appreciation to the African private sector for responding generously to the appeal made by the Chairperson of the Commission and contributing to the Solidarity Fund against Ebola established by the AU, with the support of the AfDB, as well as to the African mobile telephone companies, which launched a continent-wide SMS campaign to mobilize additional resources from African citizens. Council further expresses deep appreciation to the African citizens who are participating in this campaign. Council requests the Chairperson of the Commission, building on this successful campaign, to take the necessary steps to facilitate greater involvement and support of the African private sector and ordinary Africa citizens to the funding of the AU peace and security agenda;

 

 

 

  1. Expresses its appreciation to the brave ASEOWA volunteers and health professionals, deployed in the affected countries in West Africa, who are putting their lives at great risk, for their invaluable contribution to the fight against Ebola, and offers condolences to the families of all those who lost their relatives due to the Ebola epidemic;

 

  1. Notes with satisfaction the improvement of the situation in the Ebola-affected countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, as well as the declaration of the Republic of Mali as Ebola-free by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 19 January 2015. Council notes that, however, in spite of this progress, a number of challenges remain that require continued mobilization. In this regard, Council stresses the need for renewed commitment in the fight against the epidemic and mobilization of additional resources, in order to effectively support the health workers on the ground and the efforts of the region, as well as those of the countries most affected by the Ebola epidemic;

 

  1. Reiterates its deep concern over the negative impact of the Ebola epidemic on the socio-economic fabric of the affected countries. In this regard, Council stresses the need for particular attention to continue to be paid to the impact of the epidemic on post-conflict reconstruction and socio-economic development efforts in the affected countries. Council requests the Commission, in collaboration with the UNECA and the AfDB and within the framework of the African Solidarity Initiative (ASI), to convene an African Solidarity Conference (ASC) to mobilize support for post-conflict reconstruction and peace-building activities in the affected countries, including initiatives to be taken towards the cancellation of the external debt of the affected countries;

 

  1. Stresses the need to avoid any stigmatization, discrimination and isolation of both the people and the countries most affected. Council calls on AU Member States that have not done so, to immediately lift all travel bans and restrictions and to respect the principle of free movement, as well as to take the required steps for the resumption of flights to those countries, consistent with decision Ext/EX.CL/Dec.1(XVI), scientific advice by the WHO and the recommendations of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Council also appeals to the AU partners to assist in the fight against stigmatization and discrimination of people from the countries most affected by the epidemic;

 

  1. Reiterates the request of the 16th Extraordinary Session of the AU Executive Council for the Commission to take all the necessary steps for the rapid establishment of an African Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ACDCP), pursuant to Assembly Decision AU/Dec.499(XXII). Council encourages Member States to establish, where necessary, national centers for disease control and prevention and to enhance such centers where they do exist;

 

  1. Requests the Commission to submit to it a comprehensive report with recommendations on how best the African Standby Force (ASF) can effectively contribute to addressing humanitarian crises such as the one triggered by the Ebola outbreak, within the framework of Article 13 (3f) of the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union;

 

  1. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter. 

 

Posted by Messay

Last updated by Abraham Kebede

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TAGGED IN THEMATIC(S):
Ebola Virus Disease
TAGGED IN REGION(S) :
Liberia Guinea Bissau

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