Declaration on the Sahel Region

Meeting of the SI Council in Cascais, Portugal, 4-5 February 2013

Original: French

The Council of the Socialist International, meeting in Cascais, Portugal, on 4-5 February 2013, reiterates its total support for the efforts of its member parties in Mali – ADEMA-PASJ of HE Dioncounda Traoré, the interim president of Mali, and the RPM led by Ibrahim Boubacar Keita – in favour of democracy, territorial integrity and the safety and respect for human rights in Mali.

The Council views with optimism the recent developments in the country during the last few days, the commitment of the national authorities to the fight against the threat of terrorists and rebel groups, which has been supported by multilateral organisations, the Community of Economic States of West Africa (ECOWAS), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations. The SI Council believes that the African-led International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA), as foreseen by resolution 2085 of the Security Council of the United Nations on 20 December 2012, is useful and necessary.

The International welcomes the military deployment with French participation which allowed control to quickly be regained in the areas in the north of the country. The prompt action taken by international military forces staved off a significant humanitarian crisis in the region.

The International welcomes the visit to Mali made just a few days ago by President of the Republic of France, HE François Hollande, and the warm reception that he received from the authorities and the people of Mali.

The SI Council shares the view expressed by its member parties in that country, RPM and ADEMA-PASJ, on the necessity of instituting a process of national reconciliation which is required for dialogue between all actors in Malian society, respecting the diversity of its members and strengthening democracy, beginning with the prompt holding of free and fair presidential and legislative elections which will bring to an end the period of political transition in which the country finds itself following the coup d’état of 22 March 2012. The trans-regional cooperation and solidarity in the fight against terrorism and other common threats which affect the stability of the entire Sahel region must appear on the agenda.

The Council of the Socialist International expresses once more its solidarity with all the people of the Sahel region. The International supports the tireless efforts of the President of Niger, HE Mahamadou Issoufou and our member party the PNDS, for the democratic consolidation and the development of that country; and salutes the work of its member in Mauritania, the RFD

party, under the leadership of Ahmed Ould Daddah, for the carrying out of free and fair elections to bring forth a new era in the Mauritanian nation.

The Council congratulates the PNDS of Niger for its initiative to host a future reunion of the Africa Committee which will be dedicated to the crisis.

It congratulates Ousmane Tanor Dieng, chair of the Africa Committee, for his sustained efforts to maintain solidarity between member parties in the region.