Burundi + 4 more

Communiqué of the African Union on Burundi, Central African Republic, DR Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia

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Communiqué of the Seventh Ordinary Session of the Central Organ of the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution at heads of state and government level
A. BURUNDI

The Central Organ:

1. WELCOMES the signing of ceasefire agreements between the Transitional Government of Burundi and the CNDD-FDD of Jean Bosco Ndayikengurukiye, the PALIPEHUTU-FNL of Alain Mugabarabona and the CNDD-FDD of Mr. Pierre Nkurunziza on 7 October and 2 December 2002, respectively. The Central Organ STRONGLY URGES the PALIPEHUTU-FNL of Agathon Rwasa to engage in ceasefire negotiations with the Transitional Government of Burundi, without further delay;

2. APPROVES the deployment of the African Mission provided for in the 2 December 2002 Ceasefire Agreement and EXPRESSES appreciation to the Governments of South Africa, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Republic of Mozambique, which have indicated their willingness to contribute troops for the Mission. In this respect, the Central Organ REQUESTS South Africa, the chair of the African Union, to lead the efforts to ensure a speedy deployment of the Mission in Burundi and CALLS ON the Burundi Parties to extend full cooperation in order to facilitate the deployment;

3. APPEALS to AU Member States and the international community at large, to provide the required financial and logistical support for the deployment of the African Mission. The Central Organ APPEALS ALSO for support for the deployment of the African Union Observers, to maintain and consolidate the truce between the Parties pending the deployment of the African Mission.

B. COTE D'IVOIRE

The Central Organ:

1. WELCOMES the signing of the Linas-Marcoussis Accord of 24 January 2003, which forms a basis for achieving a lasting solution to the crisis, and URGES all the parties to honour the commitments made and to create a conducive environment for its speedy implementation;

2. COMMENDS the leaders of the region for all the initiatives they have taken since the outbreak of the crisis to bring peace to Côte d'Ivoire and MANDATES ECOWAS to continue these efforts and to report to the Union;

3. REQUESTS the AU Chairperson and the Interim Chairperson of the Commission to consider appropriate ways and means of strengthening initiatives by ECOWAS;

4. STRONGLY CONDEMNS the grave violations of human rights committed against the civilian populations and URGES all the parties to respect human rights and international humanitarian law. The Central Organ REQUESTS the African Commission on Human and People's Rights to investigate these violations;

5. REQUESTS AU Member States, the United Nations and the International Community at large to extend financial and logistical assistance to ECOWAS to facilitate the full deployment of its peacekeeping force in Côte d'Ivoire;

6. EXPRESSES its grave concern at the humanitarian and socio-economic impact of the crisis on Côte d'Ivoire and the neighboring countries and ENCOURAGES the countries concerned to make concerted efforts to address the situation. It CALLS ON the International Community to provide assistance in this regard.

C. CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC (CAR)

The Central Organ:

1. SUPPORTS the efforts made by CEMAC to promote peace and stability in the Central African Republic and the efforts to bring about reconciliation between the Central African Republic and Chad;

2. WELCOMES the progress made in the implementation of the measures contained in the Libreville Communiqué of 2 October 2002, including the deployment of the CEMAC troops in the Central African Republic and REQUESTS the United Nations and AU Member States to urgently provide the requisite logistical and financial assistance to the CEMAC force, to enable it fulfill its mandate;

3. ENCOURAGES President Ange Felix Patasse to pursue his efforts towards the convening of an all-inclusive national dialogue in order to promote national reconciliation in CAR;

4. FURTHER ENCOURAGES President El Hadj Omar Bongo of the Gabonese Republic and the other leaders of CEMAC to continue to pursue their efforts.

D. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (DRC)

The Central Organ:

1. WELCOMES the conclusion in Pretoria, on 17 December 2002, of the Comprehensive Peace Accord for the Transition in the DRC, and REQUESTS all parties concerned to fully cooperate with the Facilitator, Sir Ketumile Masire, in order to convene, as soon as possible, the Open Dialogue that would formally endorse the Pretoria Accord, to ensure its effective implementation;

2. STRONGLY CONDEMNS the renewed fighting, which has resulted in grave and recurrent violations of human rights in the Ituri region. The Central Organ CALLS on the Parties concerned to expedite the process of establishing the Ituri Pacification Commission provided for in the Luanda Agreement;

3. URGES the Parties to make use of the existing Mechanisms to address differences and allegations over non-compliance with the Agreements they have signed;

4. REQUESTS the Troika of the Central Organ, under the chairmanship of President Thabo Mbeki, acting on behalf of the African Union, to take all appropriate steps to sustain the momentum in the peace and reconciliation process in the DRC.

E. MADAGASCAR

The Central Organ:

1. TAKES NOTE of the evolution of the situation in Madagascar since the Durban Summit and RECOMMENDS to the Assembly of the Union to recognize Mr. Marc Ravalomanana as the legitimate President of the Republic of Madagascar;

2. UNDERSCORES the need for national reconciliation to create conditions for lasting peace and stability in the country and REQUESTS the Interim Chairperson of the Commission to engage the Government and the Malagasy parties, including through the convening of a Round Table to address all outstanding issues related to human rights, the rule of law as well as the issue of political detainees.

F. COMOROS

The Central Organ :

1. TAKES NOTE of the outcome of the Ministerial meeting of the countries of the region and the Troika held in Moroni from 28 to 29 January 2003 and ENDORSES its recommendations

2. CALLS ON the Comoran parties to fully cooperate in the implementation of these recommendations, in particular the holding of legislative elections according to the timetable proposed by the Follow-up Committee of the Fomboni Agreement of 17 February 2001, in order to complete the process of establishing institutions of the Union of the Comoros, including the National Assembly, the Assemblies of the Islands and the Constitutional Court.

G. LIBERIA

The Central Organ :

REITERATES its appeal to the UN Security Council to reconsider its decision on the sanctions imposed against Liberia.