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The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 394th meeting held on 5 September 2013, adopted the following decision on the situation in Madagascar:

Council,

1. Takes note of the Report of the Chairperson of the Commission on the evolution of the situation in Madagascar [PSC/PR/2 .(CCCXCIV)], as well as of the briefings provided by the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security and the Mediator of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in the Malagasy crisis. Council also takes note of the statements made by the AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, as well as by the representatives of the SADC Chairperson, the United Nations (UN), the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) and the European Union (EU);

2. Recalls its previous communiqués and press statements on the situation in Madagascar. Council also recalls the conclusions of the 7th meeting of the International Contact Group on Madagascar (ICG-M), held in Addis Ababa, on 26 June 2013;

3. Reiterates its appreciation to SADC and its Mediator in the Malagasy crisis, former President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique, for their commitment as well as for their cooperation and coordination with the AU, which have greatly contributed to the progress that has been recorded. Council commends the Commission for its active involvement and contribution to the crisis exit process. Council also reiterates its appreciation to the international partners acting within the framework of the ICG-M for their continued support to the AU and SADC efforts;

4. Welcomes the positive evolution of the situation in Madagascar, notably the re-composition of the Special Electoral Court (CES), the removal, by the new CES, of the illegal candidacies from the list of candidates for the presidential election, the publication by the CES of a final list of 33 candidates who meet the legal requirements to participate in the presidential election, and the adoption by the Independent National Electoral Commission for the Transition (CENI-T), jointly with UN representatives, of a revised calendar for the holding of the forthcoming elections, which schedules the holding of the 1st round of the Presidential election for 25 October 2013 and that of a possible second round, coupled with the legislative elections, for 20 December 2013;

5. Fully supports the decisions taken by the CES, and commends the personalities and political groupings who have accepted the decisions of the CES. In particular, Council commends the President of the Transition, Andry Rajoelina, for the crucial role he played in the adoption of the required measures for the re-launching of the electoral process in a manner that is consistent with the relevant Malagasy legislation and the requests by Madagascar’s partners, as well as for the full cooperation he extended to the AU and SADC;

6. Urges all Malagasy political and social actors to contribute positively to the ongoing process, in particular by maintaining peace and stability and upholding the spirit of tolerance and national reconciliation, in order to facilitate the successful holding of the presidential and legislative elections that will mark the completion of the restoration of constitutional order. Council further urges the President of the Transition and the entire Transitional Government of National Unity to pursue the implementation process of the Roadmap for a way out of the crisis and to remain neutral throughout the electoral process;

7. Warns all those who may be tempted to hinder the ongoing process, particularly by challenging the decisions of the CES. Council underlines its determination, in collaboration with SADC and with the support of the international partners, to impose individual sanctions, as well as any other appropriate measures, against the concerned actors;

8. Decides, in the light of the positive developments that took place in Madagascar, to immediately lift the sanctions imposed on 109 Malagasy political personalities, pursuant to its communiqués PSC/PR/COMM.1(CCXVI) and PSC/PR/COMM.1(CCXXI), adopted at its 216th and 221st meetings, held on 19 February and 17 March 2010, respectively, on the understanding that the resumption of the country’s participation in the AU’s activities will only take place after the holding of the presidential election and the assumption of duty of the elected President, in line with paragraph 10 of communiqué PSC/MIN/COMM (CCCLXVIII);

9. Urges all AU Member States in a position to do so, as well as the international partners, to extend all the necessary financial, logistical and technical support to the ongoing process, in order to facilitate the holding of free, transparent, fair and credible elections;

10. Welcomes the steps and arrangements envisaged by the Commission in order to support and observe the electoral process, including through the deployment of long and short term observer missions led by eminent African personalities, and encourages it to ensure their early implementation. Council urges the other concerned international actors to take similar measures;

11. Appeals to the international community to provide an emergency humanitarian assistance to Madagascar to help the country to cope with the problems caused by this year poor rice crop and the locust invasion, particularly given the impact that this situation may have on the conduct of the electoral process. Council further urges the international partners of Madagascar to extend the necessary support for the socio-economic recovery of country;

12. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Posted by Tchioffo Kodjo

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