Addis Ababa, 28 March 2013: The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, welcomes the unanimous condemnation by the international community of the flagrant violation of the 11 January 2013 Libreville Agreements on the Central African Republic (CAR) by the rebel group Seleka. In this regard, she takes note of the press statement by the United Nations Security Council on 25 March 2013 and the press release issued by President Idriss Deby Itno of Chad, Chairman of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), on 26 March 2013.

The Chairperson of the Commission reiterates the rejection, by the AU, of the illegal seizure of power by the rebel group Seleka and of all the actions taken by this group since its entry in Bangui. The AU is determined to ensure the restoration of constitutional order and the strict observance of all provisions of the Libreville Agreements. In this context, the Commission has formally written to all the AU Member States and partners to seek their support for the scrupulous implementation of the decisions taken by the Peace and Security Council (PSC), particularly the isolation of the Seleka group leaders, the enforcement of the sanctions taken against them and other measures to restore constitutional order.

In this context, it is important to note that, on 27 March 2013, in Durban, South Africa, the AU Chairman, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia, chaired a consultative meeting involving Presidents Idriss Deby Itno, Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of Congo, who chairs the ECCAS Follow-up Committee on CAR, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea, Jose Eduardo dos Santos of Angola and Thomas Boni Yayi of Benin, as well as Ministers and other representatives of AU Member States, including Rwanda, South Africa and Uganda. The Chairperson of the Commission and the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ramtane Lamamra, as well as the ECCAS Secretary-General, Nassour Guelengdougsia Ouaidou, also participated in the meeting. This meeting made it possible to reinforce the African collective action, in line with the PSC communiqué of 25 March 2013 and on the basis of the relevant AU instruments giving the Union primary responsibility for the promotion of peace, security and stability on the continent in the context of the African Peace and Security Architecture. In this regard, the Chairperson of the Commission looks forward to the ECCAS Extraordinary Summit, scheduled to take place in N'Djamena, on 3 April 2013, which is expected to strengthen the implementation of the decisions taken by the PSC and the achievement of the goals set by this Organ.

The Chairperson of the Commission stresses the need for the international community to remain actively engaged and to demonstrate utmost firmness in the face of the unacceptable acts of the Seleka rebel group, which can only further undermine the prospects for the promotion of peace, security, democracy and good governance in the CAR, while at the same time increasing the risk of instability in the region.

Posted by Tchioffo Kodjo

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