The Committee of Ambassadors of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP Group) has been closely following developments in the political, military and humanitarian situation in Mali since the coup d'etat on 22 March 2012.

The ACP Committee of Ambassadors welcomes the signing of a framework agreement on the process to restore constitutional order in Mali, between the National Committee for the Restoration of Democracy and State (CNRDR), who staged the coup on 22 March 2012, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Mediator.

The Committee also welcomed the role played, to this end, by H.E. Mr. Alassane Dramane Ouattara, President of Cote d'Ivoire and Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and H.E. Blaise Compaoré, President of Burkina Faso and designated Mediator.

It paid tribute to President Amadou Toumani Touré for having placed the interest of the nation of Mali above his own by resigning as Malian Head of State on Sunday 8 April 2012, to assist in finding a way out of the crisis.

The Committee was pleased to note that these developments enabled ECOWAS to lift the sanctions it had imposed on Mali immediately following the coup on 22 March 2012.

The ACP Committee of Ambassadors encouraged the signatories of the framework agreement to ensure that the terms were speedily and fully implemented.It also welcomed the return to constitutional order through the inauguration of the Head of the National Assembly as interim President of the Republic, on 12 April 2012.

As regards the ongoing rebellion in the north of Mali, the Committee has strongly condemned the attacks carried out against Mali's sovereignty and territorial integrity by the armed gangs of the AZAWAD National Liberation Movement (MNLA), Al Qaeda in the Islamic Magrheb (AQIM) and the ANSARDINE Islamists and their associates. The Committee has called for these organisations to put an immediate end to the terror, human rights violations, acts of vandalism and other atrocities that they commit in the towns that they have occupied.

In this regard, the ACP Committee of Ambassadors rejects AZWAD's declaration of independence as announced by the MNLA and strongly reaffirms its commitment to Mali's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

It has made an urgent plea to the international community, the European Union in particular, to mobilise emergency humanitarian assistance for populations in distress because of the rebellion.

The Committee welcomes and supports the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State in its efforts to deal with the political crisis in Mali and the armed rebellion in the north of that country.

Brussels,12 April 2012