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UN

December 22, 2012 - Statement by the Spokesperson of EU High Representative Catherine Ashton on the adoption of a UN Security Council resolution on Mali

The spokesperson of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, issued the following statement today:

“The High Representative welcomes the UNSC Resolution on Mali. She shares the support expressed in the Resolution for the enforcement of Malian sovereignty on the whole of its territory in a framework relying as far as possible on dialogue as well as on the need to address human rights and humanitarian relief concerns. As the Security Council has rightly stated, it is the primary responsibility of the Malian authorities to protect civilians in Mali.

In this regard, the High Representative recalls her commitment to work in close cooperation with the Malian authorities and international partners in support of a solution for this crisis. The EU, whose readiness to provide support through a training mission of the Malian armed forces as well as a financial contribution to the AFISMA has been recalled by the UNSCR, stresses in this respect the importance of progress on the political track of the transition in Mali, in particular with regards to the roadmap towards elections and the dialogue with those Northern rebel groups that renounce terrorism.”

EU Press Release


December 21, 2012 - UNSC Adoption of Resolution on Mali

Yesterday’s resolution emphasizes a simultaneous political and military strategy to resolve Mali’s crises. The resolution authorizes deployment of an African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA) to assist Malian efforts to re-assert authority over their entire territory, including by contributions to rebuild the capacity of the Malian Defense and Security Forces. Our goal is to ensure that AFISMA is successful and that any offensive operation in northern Mali is maximally effective. The resolution emphasizes that military planning needs refinement before the commencement of the offensive operation and requests that the UN Secretary General confirm in advance the Council’s satisfaction with the planned military offensive.

The resolution condemns strongly the continued political interference by members of the Malian military with the civilian government as well as all abuses of human rights and calls for holding perpetrators accountable. It also calls on the authorized force to support all efforts to bring to justice all perpetrators of serious human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law in Mali.

US Department of State Press Release


April 05, 2012 - The Security Council today expressed concern over the worsening humanitarian situation in Mali, and called on all parties in the country to allow access to aid organizations to provide assistance to civilians in need.

Strongly condemning assaults by rebels in northern Mali and the seizure of power in the capital by elements of the armed forces, the Security Council called today for the immediate restoration of constitutional rule, demanding the safe release of all detainees, as well as an end to all hostilities in the north and a peaceful resolution of all issues through dialogue.

The Council strongly condemned continued attacks, looting and seizure of territory by rebels in the north, expressing concern at the “rapidly deteriorating” humanitarian situation and the risks that the fighting posed to Mali’s World Heritage sites. It also expressed alarm over the presence of Al-Qaida-affiliated terrorists in the region. Requesting increased mobilization of international support for humanitarian efforts, the Council called on all parties to allow unimpeded access for aid to civilians in need.

UN Press Release

AU

April 06, 2012 - AU rejects Mali rebel independence call

The African Union Commission rejected a declaration of independence by rebels in the north of Mali and called on the rest of the world to shun their secession bid. The AU condemns this announcement.

Source: Reuters News Item

ECOWAS

November 01, 1998 – The Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) declared a moratorium on the import, export and manufacture of light weapons. The Moratorium applies to pistols, rifles, shotguns, sub-machine guns, carbines, machine guns, anti-tank missiles, mortars and howitzers up to 85mm and ammunition and spare parts for the above. A Code of Conduct on its implementation was agreed on 24 March 1999.

Exceptions to the Moratorium may be granted where the goods are to meet legitimate security needs.

There are three exceptions to the Moratorium as follows:

The ECOWAS Moratorium applies to all states in ECOWAS:


April 07, 2012 - Mali junta to step down as regional troops prepare to target rebels in the north of Mali.

Deal reached with west African states as they prepare to launch military offensive against rebels in north of Mali. The declaration was welcomed by other African states. Burkina Faso's foreign minister, Djibrill Bassole, said the countries bordering Mali had agreed to lift the sanctions.

Source: The Guardian News Item


April 02, 2012 - ECOWAS Imposes Sanctions on Mali

The Economic Community of West African States has imposed severe financial and diplomatic sanctions on Mali as it continues to call for a return to constitutional order in the country. Soldiers who seized power in Mali late last month have so far refused to step aside. An emergency ECOWAS summit was held Monday in Dakar, Senegal.

Effective immediately, ECOWAS has closed borders between Mali and member states. Mali no longer has access to its neighbor's seaports. The West African monetary union has cut off currency flow to Mali, which uses the regional CFA franc, and frozen the nation's assets. ECOWAS has also imposed travel bans on junta members and frozen their personal assets.

Source: VoA News Item


EU

July 23, 2012 - Conclusions du Conseil sur le Mali/Sahel

L'Union européenne (l’UE) est vivement préoccupée par la dégradation de la situation au Mali et son impact négatif sur la paix et la stabilité régionales et internationales. To see more details follow the link EU Conclusion - Only in French


April 07, 2012 - Statement by the Spokesperson of the EU High Representative, Catherine Ashton, following her call to Chairman of ECOWAS, President Ouattara, regarding the situation in Mali

" The High Representative Catherine Ashton called President Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire this afternoon in his capacity as Chairman of ECOWAS, the West African regional organisation, to congratulate him on the agreement signed yesterday enabling a transition back to constitutional rule in Mali.

Catherine Ashton pledged the European Union’ s full support for the efforts of ECOWAS to resolve peacefully the political crisis in Mali. The EU had a vital interest in the security, stability and development of the whole Sahel region, particularly at a time of serious food shortage that was affecting millions of people there. The EU therefore welcomed and supported the strong lead taken by ECOWAS on the crisis, and particularly the clear message to the northern rebels that independence is not an option. A solution must be found by negotiation.

President Ouattara briefed the High Representative on the next steps in the transition process, which would get underway next week, and the preparations for a joint ECOWAS-AU-UN force to support the transitional government in Mali. - They agreed to remain in touch on the issue.”

EU Press Release


March 23, 2012 - EU suspends its development aid to Mali

EU Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, made the following statement:

Following yesterday's coup d'etat in Mali, I decided to suspend temporarily European Commission's development operations in the country until the situation clarifies. This decision does not affect humanitarian aid. I reiterate the call of EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, for a speedy resolution of the crisis, restoration of constitutional order and the holding of democratic elections as soon as possible. Mali has achieved steady development progress in recent years which can only be preserved in a stable and democratic environment. In the face of the deteriorating security situation in the North of Mali and the looming food crisis in the region I urge all the parties to ensure protection of civilians and respect for human life.

EU Press Release

UK

April 06, 2012 - Temporary closure of British Embassy in Mali

UK temporarily suspended all in country services immediately, including consular services and withdrawn our staff from our Embassy in Bamako.

UK FCO Press Release

US

June 03, 2013 - Rewards for Justice - First Reward Offers for Terrorists in West Africa US Department of State Press Release

For the first time, the U.S. Department of State's Rewards for Justice program is offering rewards for information on key leaders of terrorist organizations in West Africa: al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJWA);and the groups known as the Signed-in-Blood Battalion and Boko Haram.

The Secretary of State has authorized rewards of up to $5 million each for information leading to the location of AQIM leader Yahya Abu el Hammam and Signed-in-Blood Battalion leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar; rewards of up to $3 million each for information leading to the location of AQIM leader Malik Abou Abdelkarim and MUJWA spokesperson Oumar Ould Hamaha; and a reward of up to $7 million for information leading to the location of Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram.

Yahya Abu el Hammam serves as a senior leader of AQIM, planning attacks and kidnappings in North and West Africa. Hammam reportedly was involved in the 2010 murder of an elderly French hostage in Niger.

Mokhtar Belmokhtar, previously a leader of AQIM, is the founder of the Signed-in-Blood Battalion, also known as the al-Mulathamun Battalion. It conducted the deadly January 2013 attack on a gas facility in In-Amenas, Algeria, where at least 37 hostages, including three U.S. citizens, were killed.

Malik Abou Abdelkarim is a senior leader within AQIM. Under his command, AQIM fighters have conducted kidnappings and terrorist attacks in North and West Africa.

Oumar Ould Hamaha, previously a member of AQIM, is now the spokesperson for MUJWA, an AQIM offshoot. As a member of AQIM, Hamaha participated in kidnappings of foreigners for ransom, including the kidnapping of a Canadian diplomat from Niamey, Niger, in December 2008.

Abubakar Shekau is the leader of Nigeria-based, Jama’atu Ahl as-Sunnah il-Da’awati wal-Jihad, more commonly known as Boko Haram. The group is responsible for the August 2011 vehicle-bomb attack on a United Nations facility in Abuja, Nigeria, which killed at least 23 people and injured 80.

More information about these individuals is located on the Rewards for Justice website (www.rewardsforjustice.net) or on Twitter: @Rewards4Justice. We encourage anyone with information on these individuals to contact the Rewards for Justice office via the website, e-mail (RFJ@state.gov), phone (1-800-877-3927), or mail (Rewards for Justice, Washington, D.C., 20522-0303, USA). All information will be kept strictly confidential.

The Rewards for Justice program is administered by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Diplomatic Security. Since its inception in 1984, the program has paid more than $125 million to more than 80 people who provided actionable information that put terrorists behind bars or prevented acts of international terrorism worldwide. Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Rewards4Justice.


April 04, 2012 - Visa Restrictions

The Department of State imposed restrictions on travel to the United States on persons and the immediate family of persons who block Mali’s return to civilian rule and a democratically elected government, including those who actively promote Captain Amadou Sanogo and the National Committee for the Restoration of Democracy, who seized power from democratically elected President Amadou Toumani Touré on March 21, 2012. The decision to impose visa restrictions follows and supports the decision of the Economic Community of West African States and the African Union to impose similar sanctions.

The United States reiterates its call on Captain Sanogo and his supporters to restore full civilian rule to Mali without delay.

US Department of State

US Foreign Terrorist Organizations

March 21, 2013 - Terrorist Designations of Ansar al-Dine

The Department of State has designated Ansar al-Dine (AAD) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism. As a result of the designation, U.S. persons are prohibited from knowingly providing material support or resources to AAD, and all property subject to U.S. jurisdiction in which AAD has any interest is blocked and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with the organization or to its benefit.

AAD has also been listed by the United Nations 1267/1989 al-Qa’ida Sanctions Committee. The UN listing requires all member states to implement an assets freeze, a travel ban, and an arms embargo against AAD. The UN action demonstrates international resolve to eliminate AAD’s violent activities in Mali and the surrounding region.

Ansar al-Dine is an organization operating in Mali which cooperates closely with al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization. AAD was created in late 2011 after AAD’s leader, Iyad ag Ghali, failed in an attempt to take over a secular Tuareg organization due to his extremist views. Ghali was designated by the Department of State under E.O. 13224 on February 26, 2013.

AAD has received support from AQIM since its inception in late 2011, and continues to maintain close ties to the group. AAD has received backing from AQIM in its fight against Malian and French forces, most notably in the capture of the Malian towns of Agulhok, Tessalit, Kidal, Gao, and Timbuktu, between January and April 2012. In AAD’s March 2012 attack against the town of Aguelhok, the group executed 82 Malian soldiers and kidnapped 30 more. Before the French intervention in January 2013, Malian citizens in towns under AAD’s control who did not comply with AAD’s laws faced harassment, torture, or execution.

US Department of State Press Release

OFAC

March 21, 2013 - Anti-terrorism Designations

Specially Designated Nationals List Update

The following entity has been added to OFAC's SDN List:

OFAC Recent Actions


February 26, 2013 - Terrorist Designations of Iyad ag Ghali (AAD)

The Department of State has designated Iyad ag Ghali as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism. As a result of the designation, all property subject to U.S. jurisdiction in which Ghali has any interest is blocked and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with him or to his benefit.

Ghali is also listed by the United Nations 1267/1989 al-Qa’ida Sanctions Committee. The UN listing requires all member states to implement an assets freeze, a travel ban, and an arms embargo against Ghali. The UN action demonstrates international resolve in eliminating Ghali’s violent activities in Mali and the surrounding region.

Iyad ag Ghali is the leader of Ansar al-Dine (AAD), an organization operating in Mali which cooperates closely with al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization. Ghali created AAD in late 2011 because his effort to take over a secular Tuareg organization failed due to his extremist views.

Ghali has received backing from AQIM in AAD’s fight against Malian and French forces, most notably in the capture of the Malian towns of Agulhok, Tessalit, Kidal, Gao, and Timbuktu, between January and April 2012. Before the French intervention in January 2013, Malian citizens in towns that had been under AAD’s control who did not comply with AAD’s laws had faced harassment, torture, or execution.

Before creating AAD, Ghali directed a 1990 rebellion against the Malian government by the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MPLA). In 1991, he became the secretary general of an MPLA splinter group before becoming the Tuareg community’s leading negotiator with the Malian President’s office after the 1992 peace accords. In 1999 and 2003, he served as an intermediary in the release of western hostages held by the Salafist Group for Call and Combat (a precursor organization to AQIM). In 2006, Ghali took command of the rebel fighters responsible for attacks on military bases in Kidal, Mali.

The following individuals have been added to OFAC's SDN List:

US Department of State Press Release & OFAC Recent Actions


December 07, 2012 - Terrorist Designations of the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa, Hamad el Khairy, and Ahmed el Tilemsi

The Department of State has designated the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJWA, also known by MUJAO), Hamad el Khairy, and Ahmed el Tilemsi, two of the organization’s leaders, as Specially Designated Global Terrorists under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism. As a result of the designation, all property subject to U.S. jurisdiction in which MUJWA, Khairy, or Tilemsi has any interest is blocked and U.S. persons are prohibited from engaging in any transactions with them or to their benefit.

In addition to today’s domestic designation under E.O. 13224, MUJWA is also listed by the United Nations 1267/1989 al-Qa’ida Sanctions Committee. The UN listing requires all member states to implement an assets freeze, a travel ban, and an arms embargo against MUJWA. The UN action demonstrates international resolve in eliminating MUJWA’s violent activities in Mali and the surrounding region.

MUJWA was created in September 2011 after members broke off from al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in order to spread their activities into West Africa. MUJWA has been behind violent terrorist attacks and kidnappings in the region, including the October 2011 abduction of three aid workers from a refugee camp in western Algeria; a March 2012 suicide attack on a police base in Tamanrasset, Algeria, which wounded 23 people; and a June 2012 attack in Ouargla, Algeria, which killed one and injured three. MUJWA was also responsible for the April 2012 kidnapping of seven Algerian diplomats in Gao, Mali. Although three of the diplomats have since been released, MUJWA continues to make demands in exchange for the release of the remaining diplomats, and has threatened to kill the hostages if those demands are unmet.

Hamad el Khairy and Ahmed el Tilemsi are both founding leaders of MUJWA. Khairy has been involved in MUJWA’s kidnapping for ransom operations, personally claiming the group’s April 2012 abduction of Algerian diplomats, and has appeared in MUJWA videos to make threats against those who oppose the organization. Prior to his leadership role in MUJWA, Khairy was a member of AQIM, and was involved in planning terrorist operations against Mauritania in 2007. Tilemsi acts as MUJWA’s military head, and directly participated in the group’s October 2011 kidnapping of three aid workers in Algeria, which left two wounded by gunfire. Before joining MUJWA, Tilmesi was also affiliated with AQIM, and participated in that organization’s January 2011 abduction of two French nationals in Niamey, Niger.

Specially Designated Nationals List Update

The following individuals have been added to OFAC's SDN List:

The following entity has been added to OFAC's SDN List:

US Department of State Press Release & OFAC Recent Sanctions

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