AU condemns military take-over in Mali

Just as the African Union Commission (AUC) and the Economic Commission for Africa (EAC) are holding a conference of Ministers of Finance and Economic Planning in Addis Ababa to push for strategic actions to unleash Africa’s potential as a pole of global growth, army mutineers have taken over the reins of governance in Mali and have suspended the country’s Constitution March 22, 2012.

But the AU has condemned the action of the soldiers.

In a press release issued in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the AU said its Chairperson, Jean Ping is following with deep concern the developments in Mali, particularly the announcement by the mutineering soldiers of the suspension of the Constitution and the institutions of the Republic, as well as the establishment of a Conseil national de Redressement de la Démocratie et de la Restauration de l’État – CNRDR (National Council for the Rehabilitation of Democracy and Restoration of the State).

“The Chairperson of the Commission strongly condemns this act of rebellion, which seriously undermines constitutional legality and constitutes a significant setback for Mali and for the ongoing democratic processes on the continent,” it said.

The AU emphasized Africa’s zero tolerance for any unconstitutional change of government and its total rejection of any seizure of power by force.

“In conformity with the relevant provisions of the AU Constitutive Act and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, the Chairperson of the Commission. In this regard, he urges the mutineers immediately to put an end to their action and to submit themselves to constitutional legality. He urges the military institution to resolutely remain at the service of the democratically‐elected civilian authorities,” it said.

The statement also indicated that the Jean Ping has initiated a number of consultations, including with the Chairman of the Union, President Thomas Yayi Boni of Benin, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Désiré Kadré Ouedraogo, and other actors, to enhance the effectiveness of Africa’s response to the ongoing events in Mali, with a view to preserving constitutional order.

It added that, he will soon present a report to the Peace and Security Council (PSC), to enable this organ pronounce itself on the present situation on the basis of the relevant AU instruments.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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