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Communiqué of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 545th meeting on the situation in the Comoros

The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 545th meeting held on 21 September 2015, adopted the following decision on the situation in the Comoros:

Council,

1. Takes note of the briefing provided by the Commission on the evolution of the situation in the Comoros, as well as of the statements made by the representatives of the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU);

2. Welcomes the overall encouraging developments in the situation in the Comoros since the establishment of a new institutional architecture, with the adoption of the 2001 Constitution. In this regard, Council notes the improvement of the relations between the institutions of the Union and those of the autonomous islands, as well as the smooth organization, on 25 January and 22 February 2015, of the legislative and municipal elections, respectively. Council expresses its appreciation to the people, as well as to all the Comorian political stakeholders, for the progress made;

3. Stresses the importance of the smooth holding, on 21 February and 16 April 2016, of the presidential election and that of the Governors of the autonomous islands, as a crucial step in the process for deepening reconciliation and strengthening the Comorian institutions. In this regard, Council urges all the Comorian political stakeholders to work towards the establishment of the necessary environment for the organization of these elections under the required conditions of peace, transparency and regularity. Council encourages the Commission to provide the necessary technical support to the relevant Comorian structures, as well as to dispatch an election observation mission to monitor the elections;

4. Expresses its concern about the attempts of some Comorian political stakeholders to call into question the principle of the rotating presidency, as enshrined in the Comorian Constitution. Council warns against these attempts and against any other action likely to raise tension and jeopardise the gains made in the reconciliation and stabilization process of the Comoros;

5. Welcomes the decision of the Chairperson of the Commission to dispatch to the Comoros, as quickly as possible, a delegation of the AU Panel of the Wise to encourage the Comorian stakeholders to continue to work towards consolidating peace and stability in their country;

6. Urges the international community to mobilise enhanced support for the socio-economic recovery of the Comoros. Council calls upon the concerned international partners to honour the commitments made at the Donors’ Conference that took place in Doha, in June 2010, and requests the Commission, in consultation with the Comorian authorities, to take the necessary initiatives to ensure a more effective follow-up of the outcome of that Conference. At the same time, Council encourages the Comorian authorities to redouble their efforts to improve the economic and financial management of their country, on the basis of the principles of transparency and good governance;

7. Welcomes the efforts of the Commission to support the delimitation process of the maritime boundary between the Comoros and Madagascar, within the framework of the AU Border Programme (AUBP), particularly the objective of ensuring the delimitation and demarcation by 2017 of African borders where such an exercise has not yet taken place, in accordance with decision Assembly/AU/Dec. 369 (XVII), adopted by the 17th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union, held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, from 30 June to 1 July 2013. Council encourages the Commission to pursue the efforts thus initiated;

8. Endorses the recommendation of the Commission on the revision of the mandate of the AU Liaison Office in the Comoros, as follows: (i) ensure the monitoring of political developments in the Comoros, as well as of developments relating to the issue of the Comorian island of Mayotte ; (ii ) facilitate the mobilisation and coordination of the necessary support to the overall efforts to consolidate the reconciliation and stabilization process in the Comoros, including aspects related to elections; and (iii) facilitate the implementation, in the Comoros, of the relevant decisions of the AU policy organs and thematic AU programmes related to peace building. Council requests the Commission, in the interest of rationalisation, to consider the closing, in the middle of next year at the latest, of the AU Liaison Office in the Comoros, whose functions will then be transferred to the AU Liaison Office in Madagascar;

9. Requests the Commission to keep it informed of the evolution of the situation in the Comoros, particularly in view of the elections scheduled in February and April 2016, as well as of developments relating to the Island of Mayotte;

10. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

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