December 13, 2012
African Union to Support New Mali PM
The African Union (AU) has condemned the military intervention in Mali, but will support the new interim prime minister, Diango Cissoko. The African Union Peace and Security Council met Thursday at AU headquarters to discuss the ongoing turmoil in Mali.
Director of the Peace and Security Council El Ghassim Wane says the AU is looking forward to working together with Prime Minister Cissoko.
“As much as we strongly condemn the conditions under which the prime minister was compelled to resign, we also believe that we need to be forward looking and support the new prime minister and assist him under the authority of the interim president in ensuring absolute civilian oversight over the military,” said Wane.
Prime Minister Cheikh Modibo Diarra resigned on Tuesday after the military junta that led the coup against the government in March arrested him. There has been international criticism of the circumstances under which Diarra had to resign.
The AU Peace and Security Council further calls on new interim Prime Minister Cissoko to continue the ongoing AU efforts to stabilize Mali.
“The AU efforts on Mali revolve around three key elements,” said Wane. "One, of course, is continuing negotiations between Malian groups willing to negotiate within very clear principles. The second one is to ensure that you do have an inclusive transition in Mali. Third track is the deployment African led international support mission in Mali, AFISMA, to assist Mali recover occupied regions in the north and dismantle the terrorist and criminal networks in that part of the country.”
Mali has been in a critical situation since March after president Amadou Toumani Toure was overthrown by a military coup. Islamist militant groups then gained control of the Northern part of Mali.
The AU and the Economic Commission of West African States, ECOWAS, have appealed to the United Nations Security Council to approve an African-led deployment in Mali of 3,300 troops to restore stability to Mali.