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April 2, 2003
Addis Ababa

Communique of the Ninety-first Ordinary Session of the Central Organ of the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution at Ambassadorial Level, 2 April 2003, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The Central Organ of the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution held its 91st Ordinary Session at Ambassadorial level in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Wednesday 2 April 2003, to review the preparations for the deployment of the African Mission in Burundi. The session took place under the chairmanship of Ambassador Baso Sangqu, Permanent Representative of South Africa to the African Union.

The meeting was attended by the Ministers of Defence of South Africa, Ethiopia and Mozambique. The Minister of Defence of South Africa briefed the meeting on the preparations being made for the deployment of the African Mission in Burundi.

Following its deliberations,

The Central Organ:

1. RECALLS the approval for the deployment of the African Mission provided for in the 7 October 2002 and 2 December 2002 Ceasefire Agreements (CFAs) by the Seventh Ordinary Session of the Central Organ Meeting at the level of Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa on 3 February 2003 [Central Organ/MEC/AHG/ Comm.(VII)];

2. FURTHER RECALLS the Central Organ Summit decision to entrust South Africa with the responsibility of leading the efforts to ensure a speedy deployment of the Mission in Burundi;

3. REITERATES its appreciation to the Governments of the Republic of South Africa, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Republic of Mozambique, for their commitment to contribute troops for the Mission;

4. REAFFIRMS its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Burundi;

5. MANDATES the deployment of the African Mission in Burundi (AMIB) for an initial period of one (01) year subject to renewal by the Central Organ, and pending the deployment of the UN Peacekeeping Force to be mandated by the UN Security Council as envisaged in the Agreements. After the initial period of 1 year, this mandate will subsequently be renewed every 6 months.

i. Expected African Mission End State

The African Mission would have fulfilled its mandate after it has facilitated the implementation of the Ceasefire Agreements and the defence and security situation in Burundi is stable and well-managed by newly created national defence and security structures. Therefore, the presence of an armed African Mission would no longer be required in Burundi.

ii. Objectives

Oversee the implementation of the Ceasefire Agreements.

Support disarmament and demobilization initiatives and advise on reintegration of combatants.

Strive towards ensuring that conditions favourable for the establishment of a UN Peacekeeping mission.

Contribute to political and economic stability in Burundi.

iii. Mandate

The Mandate of the African Mission (AMIB) will consist of the following tasks:

Establish and maintain liaison between the Parties.

Monitor and verify the implementation of the Ceasefire Agreements.

Facilitate the activities of the Joint Ceasefire Commission (JCC) and Technical Committees for the establishment and restructuring of the National defence and Police Forces.

Secure identified assembly and disengagement areas.

Facilitate safe passage for the Parties during planned movements to designated assembly areas.

Facilitate and provide technical assistance to the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) process.

Facilitate the delivery of the humanitarian assistance, including to refugees and internally displaced persons.

Coordinate mission activities with UN presence in Burundi.

Provide VIP protection for designated returning leaders.

iv. Concept of operations of the AMIB

The African Mission is to deploy in Burundi within 60 days of the provision of the mandate. The Lead Nation will facilitate planning, establishing and deployment of the force. It will lead the military component and provide the core of the force. The current South African Protection Support Detachment and the African Union Military observers are to be subsequently incorporated into the African Mission.

v. Composition and size

The mission will be composed of military and limited civilian components under a Head of Mission established under the auspices of the African Union (AU). The Peacekeeping Force shall comprise forces from the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, (1 x Battalion + 2 additional Companies and other elements); The Republic of Mozambique, (1 x Strengthened Company + other elements); The Republic of South Africa, (1 x Battalion + other elements). The Republic of South Africa, will appoint the Force Commander, while Ethiopia, will appoint the Deputy Force Commander.

vi. Rules of Engagement (ROE)

Clear Rules of Engagement based on International law and the principle of self-defence will be issued. The ROE will focus on protection of mission personnel and equipment. The authority to adjust the suggested ROE will be vested in the Head of Mission (HoM) in conjunction with the Force Commander (FC) after consultations with the mandating Authority.

vii. Status of Force Agreement (SOFA)

A SOFA is to be concluded between the AU and the Transitional Government of Burundi (TGoB) prior to the deployment of the AMIB.

viii. Logistic Support and Sustenance

National Contingents deployed in the mission have to be self-sustained for the initial 60 days and maintain a reserve of 14 days throughout the mission. The Lead Nation in conjunction with the mandating authority are to provide guidance on financing, logistic support and sustenance of the mission. Based on the Lead Nation's guidance, a detailed concept will be developed during further planning.

ix. Command, Control and Communications

The AMIB is authorized and deployed under the auspices of the AU, which mandates the following command and control structure:

The AMIB shall function under the overall direction of a Head of Mission who shall be the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission. AMIB Headquarters will be established in Bujumbura;

Reporting. The Head of Mission and the Force Commander of the AMIB are to provide the first report on progress towards the implementation of its mandate not later than three months after the establishment of the Mission; subsequently, they are to provide periodic reports. Reports on the activities of the Mission shall be submitted to the Central Organ on a regular basis and at least every six months.

x. Further guidance

The Lead Nation will issue further Guidelines for the African Mission. These guidelines will cover inter alia, issues emanating from the mandate, concept of operations, mission structure, command and control, administration and logistics, health care, equipment requirements (including marking and mission insignia), discipline and ROE.

6. URGES all Burundian Parties to extend full co-operation in order to facilitate the deployment of the African Mission;

7. STRONGLY URGES the PALIPEHUTU-FNL of Agathon Rwasa to engage in ceasefire negotiations with the Transitional Government of Burundi, without further delay;

8. RENEWS its appeal to AU Member States, the United Nations and the international community at large, to provide the required financial and logistical support for the deployment of the Mission;

9. REQUESTS the Interim Chairperson to establish a Special Trust Fund through which voluntary contributions could be received from AU Member States and other partners, to cover all the costs related to the deployment and the sustenance of the African Mission, including reimbursements to troop contributing countries.