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The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 547th meeting held on 26 September 2015, at the level of Heads of State and Government, adopted the following decision on the situation in Burkina Faso:

Council

1.    Takes note of the briefing given by the Commissioner for Peace and Security on the evolution of the situation in Burkina Faso;

2.    Recalls communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.3(DXLIV), adopted at its 544th meeting held on 18 September 2015, within the framework of the powers devolved upon it, jointly with the Chairperson of the Commission, under Article 7 (g) of the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the AU, on the imposition of sanctions each time an unconstitutional change of Government occurs in a Member State. Council also recalls the  provisions of Article 16 of the Protocol, which stipulates that the Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution are an integral part of the African Peace and Security Architecture of the Union, which has the primary responsibility for the promotion of peace, security and stability in Africa ;

3.    Reaffirms the total rejection by the AU of unconstitutional changes of Government, in conformity with the relevant provisions of the AU Constitutive Act and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, and  expresses once again  the AU’s full determination to stop once and for all coups d’État and other attempts to take power by force;

4.    Renews the AU’s strong condemnation of the kidnapping and unlawful detention, by elements of the Régiment de sécurité présidentielle (RSP), of the President and Prime Minister of the Transition, as an act of terrorism, as well as the subsequent announcement of the takeover of power by the so-called "National Council of Democracy";

5.    Expresses its appreciation to the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), President Macky Sall of Senegal, to the Facilitator of ECOWAS on the situation in Burkina Faso, President Thomas Boni Yayi of Benin, and to the other leaders of the region, for their sustained action to thwart the coup d’État by elements of the RSP and to enable the Transition resume its normal course and to conclude successfully, with the organization of presidential and legislative elections. Council welcomes the convening, in Abuja, on 22 September 2015, of the Extraordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS on the political crisis in Burkina Faso, as well as the visit to Ouagadougou, on Wednesday, 23 September 2015, by a delegation of the ECOWAS High-level Committee of Heads of State, comprising Presidents Thomas Yayi Boni of Benin, John Dramani Mahama of Ghana, Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, Faure Gnassingbé of Togo and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo of Nigeria, as well as the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa, Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas;


6.    Expresses its appreciation to the UN, the European Union (EU) and other multilateral and bilateral partners for their strong support to the AU principles and doctrine on the rejection of coups d’État and other forms of unconstitutional changes of Government, as well as to the efforts of the countries of the region, within the framework of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA);
7.    Commends the people of Burkina Faso and all concerned political and civil society actors for their exemplary mobilization, which helped to foil the coup d’État and encourages them to  persevere in their determination to successfully carry out  the Transition launched in their country since November 2014 ;

8.    Welcomes the reinstatement of President Michel Kafando in his functions as President of the Transition, during a ceremony organized in the presence of the delegation of the ECOWAS High-Level Committee of Heads of State and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa, and the resumption of the normal course of the Transition. Council reiterates its full support to the authorities of the Transition in Burkina Faso and encourages them, as well as all the other stakeholders, to work towards its successful conclusion, with the organization of the legislative and presidential elections as planned;

9.    Decides accordingly and in conformity with Article 26 of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, to lift the suspension of the participation of Burkina Faso in the AU’s activities, as contained in paragraph 11 of Communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.3(DXLIV).  Council further decides to put on hold the implementation of the sanctions decided in paragraph 12 of the Communiqué, on the understanding that these sanctions can be reactivated at any time, at the request of the President of the Transition in Burkina Faso, ECOWAS or upon recommendation by the Commission, in case the elements of the RSP involved in the kidnapping and unlawful detention of the transitional authorities and the attempted coup d’état, as well as their civilian supporters, further attempt, in any manner whatsoever, to hinder the conduct of the Transition and to compromise its successful conclusion. Council underlines that the decision to defer the sanctions is without prejudice to the relevant provisions of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, which, in Article 25, stipulates notably that the perpetrators of unconstitutional changes shall not hold any position of responsibility in the political institutions of their states;

10.    Encourages the Commission, in close cooperation with ECOWAS and the United Nations, particularly within the framework of the International Support Group to the Transition in Burkina Faso (GISAT-BF), to support the efforts of the authorities of the Transition and the other stakeholders concerned, to facilitate the successful completion of the Transition, including through the implementation of defense and security sector reform, as well as through the fight against impunity, the promotion of dialogue and national reconciliation. In this regard, Council requests the Commission to organize, as soon as possible, a meeting of GISAT-BF in Ouagadougou;

11.    Requests the Chairperson of the Commission to deploy, as quickly as possible, an election observation mission in Burkina Faso, and encourages all the Member States to consider sending, at their own expense and within the framework of the AU Observer Mission, observers, to ensure an effective monitoring of the polls, which will mark the end of the Transition. Council also requests the Chairperson of the Commission to support the proposed deployment by ECOWAS of military and human rights observers;  

12.    Requests the Chairperson of the Commission to closely monitor the evolution of the situation and to keep it regularly informed;

13.    Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Posted by Messay
Last updated by Limi Mohammed

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