The Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, accompanied by the Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui, and the Commissioner for Political Affairs, Madam Cessouma Minata Samaté, has just concluded a 10-day visit to the countries of the G5-Sahel: Chad, Niger, Mauritania, Mali and Burkina Faso.

The Chairperson of the Commission, in the course of his visit, and in the context of the communiqué adopted by the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC), at its 679th meeting held on 13 April 2017, by which the PSC endorsed the Strategic Concept of Operations of the Joint Force, has reaffirmed the AU support to efforts deployed by member states of the G5-Sahel, in the framework of the African Peace and Security Architecture and the Nouakchott Process.

The Chairperson of the Commission, during his visit, held extensive discussions on the overall security situation in the sahelo-saharan region. These consultations have enabled him to re-affirm the seriousness of the threat that terrorism and organized crime pose to the region’s stability and hence the urgency of joint action. The Heads of States of the countries he visited reiterated their firm determination to respond collectively to the security challenges facing the region as well as their hope that the international community will provide unfailing support to their efforts.

In this regard, the Chairperson of the Commission recalls that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is seized with the request from the countries of the G5-Sahel, as endorsed by the PSC, and stresses once more the crucial importance of the support of the UNSC to the collective efforts of the countries of the region, within the framework of the AU-UN partnership based on the relevant provisions of Chapter VIII of the UN Charter.

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The Chairperson of the Commission reiterates his conviction that the Joint Force of the G5-Sahel offers a unique opportunity to move forward in a decisive path the fight against terrorism and organised crime in the Sahel, on the basis of regional ownership.

The Commissioner for Peace and Security, met today with the representatives of the Permanent Members of the UNSC in Addis Ababa. The Commissioner reiterated the Chairperson’s call to the UNSC to endorse, through a resolution, the communiqué of the PSC relating to the establishment of this force in the Sahel.