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Communiqué of the 1039th meeting of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union held on 19 October 2021, on the consideration of the report of the Technical Early Response Mission (TERM) to The Comoros

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Adopted by the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) at its 1039th meeting, held on 19 October 2021, on the Consideration of the Report of the Technical Early Response Mission (TERM) to The Comoros:

The Peace and Security Council,

Recalling its previous pronouncements on the Situation in The Comoros, in particular the Summary Record [PSC/PR/SR/1000(2021)] of the 1001st meeting, held on 1 June 2021, in which among others, Council requested the AU Commission to dispatch a Technical Early Response Mission (TERM), coordinated by the Political Affairs, Peace and Security Department, to The Comoros, in order to engage with all concerned stakeholders, to establish facts and report back to the PSC;

Also recalling Communique [PSC/PR/COMM. 1017(2021)] adopted at 1017th meeting, held on 5 August 2021, in which the PSC stressed the need for the AU Commission to further enhance cooperation and coordination in supporting Member States in political transition and post-conflict situations, including in implementing peace agreements and promoting Preventive Diplomacy and Mediation;

Taking note of the remarks by Ambassador Alfredo Nuvunga, Chairperson of the PSC for October 2021, the presentation made by Ambassador Bankole Adeoye, Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security and the statements by H.E. Hawa Ahmed Youssouf, Special Representative of the Chairperson of the Commission for Madagascar and Comoros, and H.E. Ambassador Assoumani Youssouf Mondoha, the representative of the Union of The Comoros.

Reiterating the commitment and unwavering support of the AU to the stability of The Comoros, as well as its commitment to respect the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of this country.

Acting under Article 7 of its Protocol, the Peace and Security Council,

1. Takes note of the positive measures initiated by the Government of The Comoros towards political stability the country, and particularly through the facilitation of an inclusive National Dialogue to enable all the political leaders to resolve their differences, and the quick positive interventions in the increased rollout in the vaccination of The Comorians to combat the COVID-19 pandemic;

2. Welcomes the prevailing calmness in the Comoros and urges the authorities to continue to work assiduously towards promoting an effective Inter-Comorian dialogue in an inclusive and transparent manner; in this regard, requests the AU Commission to scale up collaboration with the Government of The Comoros to provide the needed technical support to the national dialogue programme;

3. Encourages all political leaders, in opposition and in Government, and stakeholders especially women, the youth and Comorians in the Diaspora, to participate actively in the inter-Comorian dialogue in order to contribute to sustainable peace building, stable polity and social cohesion as the expected outcome of the national dialogue;

4. While acknowledging that in spite of the positive gains, some challenges remain at the political level, which hamper progress in the launching of national dialogue; underscores the need for the Government of the Union of the Comoros to deploy the necessary measures and steps to regain the eroded trust of the opposition parties given that multi-party democracy is a key tenet of effective political governance; and thus encourages the Comorian political leadership to espouse the spirit of tolerance and promote the inclusion all sectors of the society, including the youth, women and people with disabilities in all national initiatives;

5. Appeals to the Government of The Comoros to release all political detainees and to undertake judicial process for those facing allegations of offenses according to the laws of the country;

6. Expresses deep concern over the socio-economic challenges facing the Union of The Comoros and reiterates the linkages between peace, security and development, and thereby calls upon the Government of the Comoros and development partners to prioritize the promotion of inter-connectivity between the three islands making up the Union of the Comoros in order to create the necessary conditions for economic renewal, job opportunities, social cohesion and an environment conducive for peace, security and socio-economic development, as well as to attract international partners and investors to support the economy of the country;

7. Endorses the Report of the Technical Early Response Mission (TERM) and its recommendations and commends the efforts by the AU Commission for its engagement with the Government of Comoros and all relevant stakeholders in the country;

8. Mandates the Chairperson of the AU Commission through his Special Representative for Madagascar and The Comoros to continue to effectively provide support to the Union of The Comoros, while extending capacity support within the Commission to support the national dialogue and the preparation for the elections in 2024;

9. Decides to deploy a follow-on AU multi-dimensional mission coordinated by the Commission to provide necessary support to the Government of the Comoros in different sectors, including Security Sector Reform (SSR), institutional and justice reforms, Mediation and dialogue especially national dialogue and preparations for elections; in this regard, tasks the AU Commission to engage with the Government of The Comoros for the deployment of the mission in line with the approved budget, as well as within the agreed programmes under the utilisation of Peace Fund to support The Comoros;

10. Also decides to undertake a field visit to The Comoros to express the support of the AU to the efforts made for the stability and development of The Comoros and engage with stakeholders on the ground to encourage the promotion of national cohesion, peace building and dialogue as amicable means to resolve political differences and refocus on sustainable development activities;

11. Expresses satisfaction and profound appreciation to the President, the Government and the people of the Union of The Comoros for the warm reception, hospitality and their overture to the AU Technical Early Response Mission during its visit from 12-15 September 2021;

12. Decides to remain seized of the matter.