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The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 465th meeting held on 3 November 2014, adopted the following decision on the situation in Burkina Faso:

Council,

1. Takes note of the statement made by the Chairperson of the Commission and the briefing provided by the Commissioner for Peace and Security on the situation in Burkina Faso. Council also takes note of the statements made by the representative of Burkina Faso, as well as by those of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the United Nations;

2. Recalls the relevant provisions of the AU Constitutive Act, as well as those of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance. Council also recalls its previous press statements and communiqués on the issue of unconstitutional changes of Government and popular uprisings, including Press Statement PSC/PR/BR.(CDXXXII) adopted at its 432nd meeting held on 29 April 2014, in which it reiterated its rejection of unconstitutional changes of Government, as well as the recognition of the right of peoples to rise up peacefully against oppressive political systems;

3. Expresses its solidarity with the people of Burkina Faso, and acknowledges their profound aspiration, to uphold their Constitution and to deepen democracy in the country;

4. Strongly condemns the acts of violence that took place in Burkina Faso, which led to the loss of human lives and destruction of property, and urges that the sponsors and authors of those acts of violence be brought to justice. Council presents its sincere condolences to the families of the victims and wishes speedy recovery to the injured. Council deeply deplores the destruction of private and public property and calls for the return to calm and an end to all acts of violence and destruction of property;

5. Takes note of the resignation of Mr. Blaise Compaoré from his post of President of Faso, which constitutes an important step in the search for a consensual and lasting solution to the crisis in that country;

6. Deplores the declaration by the military through which it suspended the Constitution and assumed power, following the resignation of the President of Faso, as constituting a coup d’État, which Council strongly condemns;

7. Endorses the press releases issued by the Chairperson of the Commission on 30 October 2014 and on 1 November 2014. Council commends the Chairperson of the Commission for her commitment and efforts towards the early settlement of the crisis in Burkina Faso and the establishment of a civilian-led and consensual transition. Council also welcomes the dispatch of an AU/ECOWAS/United Nations Joint Mission to interact with the Burkinabe stakeholders and facilitate a consensual way out of the crisis;

8. Welcomes the statements made by the current Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana, on the situation in Burkina Faso, on 30 October and 2 November 2014;

9. Underlines the need and the urgency for a rapid solution to the current crisis based on the respect of the Constitution and the aspiration of the people of Burkina Faso to the deepening of democracy in their country, as well as on consensus among all concerned Burkinabe stakeholders, within the framework of the relevant AU instruments. In this regard, Council:

  (i) underlines the continued validity of the Constitution of Burkina Faso;

  (ii) reaffirms the imperative of a civilian-led and consensual transition in Burkina Faso, it being understood that a military-led transition would be completely contrary to the aspirations of the people of Burkina Faso, as well as to the relevant AU instruments;

  (iii) demands that the Burkinabe military steps aside and hands over power to a civilian authority, in accordance with the Constitution, within a maximum period of two weeks from the date of the adoption of the present communiqué, failure of which, measures including those indicated in paragraph 14 below shall be instituted. Council underlines that there shall be no exception to this decision;

  (iv) underlines that the civilian authority who will take over the interim leadership of the country will enhance a consultative process involving all Burkinabe political actors and other stakeholders to agree on the modalities, duration, leadership and content of a civilian-led and consensual transition which will lead to the holding, as quickly as possible, of free, fair and transparent elections; and

  (v) reaffirms the duty and the obligation of the defense and security forces to place themselves at the disposal of the civilian authorities, who should conduct the transition, and to act in a republican spirit, and urges them to refrain from any act or statement that would further complicate the situation in Burkina Faso and negatively affect regional security and stability;

10. Emphasizes, once again, the AU’s conviction that only a civilian-led and consensual transition would meet the legitimate aspirations of the people of Burkina Faso to uphold the Constitution and deepen democracy, and would allow the mobilization of the international support necessary for a successful end to the crisis. In this context, Council reiterates the AU’s readiness, working in close collaboration with ECOWAS and the United Nations, to accompany the Burkinabe people, as well as the political and social stakeholders, and to help mobilize all the international support they need;

11. Welcomes the appointment by the Chairperson of the Commission of Mr. Edem Kodjo, former Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and former Prime Minister of the Republic of Togo, member of the AU Panel of the Wise, as the AU Special Envoy for Burkina Faso;

12. Notes with satisfaction the return to Ouagadougou, on 3 November 2014, of the AU/ECOWAS/United Nations Joint Mission to continue the consultations initiated with the Burkinabe stakeholders in the search for an early solution on the basis of the principles set out in paragraph 9 above. In this regard, Council calls on all parties in Burkina Faso to extend full cooperation to the Joint Mission;

13. Urgently appeals to all the AU international partners to extend full support to the ongoing efforts for the search of a solution on the basis of the principles set out in paragraph 9 above. In this regard, Council welcomes the statements issued by AU bilateral and multilateral partners marking their support to the ongoing African-led efforts to find a solution to the crisis;

14. Requests the Commission to report to it, no later than 18 November 2014, on the evolution of the efforts to promote a civilian-led and consensual transition, as spelt out in paragraph 9 above, to allow Council, if the situation so demands, to take all appropriate measures, including the suspension of Burkina Faso from participating in AU’s activities and the imposition of targeted sanctions against all those who would be obstructing the efforts referred to above, in accordance with the relevant AU instruments;

15. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Posted by Fisseha Abraham
Last updated by Abraham Kebede

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