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The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 520th meeting held on 29 June 2015, adopted the following decision on the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the affected countries in West Africa:

Council,

1.    Takes note of the briefing provided by the Commission on the progress made to date in the fight against the EVD in the affected countries in West Africa. Council also takes note of the statement made by the representative of Guinea;

2.    Recalls its earlier pronouncements on the EVD, 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 to fight the Ebola virus, communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.(DXI) adopted at its 511th meeting held on 29 May 2015 and communiqué PSC/AHG/COMM.3(CDLXXXIV) adopted at its 484th meeting held on 29 January 2015 at the level of Heads of State and Government. Council further recalls 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;

3.    Reiterates, once again, its deep appreciation to the Commission for the efforts being deployed in the fight against the EVD and, in particular, to the brave volunteers and health professionals who were deployed in the affected countries as part of the AU Support to Ebola Outbreak in West Africa (ASEOWA), putting their lives at great risk, for their invaluable contribution to the fight against Ebola. Council also reiterates the need for the countries of origin to give a heroes’ welcome to all ASEOWA volunteers returning from the EVD affected countries and to avoid stigmatizing and discriminating them. In this respect, Council requests the Commission to provide to the countries of origin timely information regarding the return of their respective healthcare volunteers, with a view to ensuring effective medical tracing and tracking by the concerned  national healthcare authorities;

4.    Notes with deep concern that Guinea and Sierra Leone may not have contained the EVD before the expiration of the current mandate of ASEOWA, on 18 August 2015, with the risk of further regional and international spread. In this regard, Council underscores the imperative need for the concerned populations and countries to extend full cooperation to ASEOWA and to remain extra-vigilant, as well as to ensure effective surveillance mechanisms to monitor cross-border movements of people, with a view not only to eradicate the EVD in the countries most affected, but also to prevent its spread throughout the region and beyond;

5.    Expresses its readiness to renew the mandate of ASEOWA for a definite period, should the situation in the countries most affected by the EVD warrants such a decision;
6.    Looks forward to the successful convening of the International Conference on Africa’s Fight against Ebola under the theme: “Africa Helping Africa in the post-Ebola Recovery and Reconstruction”, which is scheduled to take place in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, from 20 to 21 July 2015. In this regard, Council urges all Member States to participate at the highest level at this International Conference;

7.    Requests the Commission to submit a comprehensive report to Council, during the month of July 2015;

8.    Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Posted by Limi Mohammed

Last updated by Abraham Kebede

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