Adopted by the Africa Liberal Network at the ‘Conference on the Malian crisis and security in West Africa’ hosted by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom.
Bamako, 2 June 2013.
Whereas the Africa Liberal Network is a member of Liberal International, which is guided by the Oxford Manifesto of 1947 which outlines the values of freedom, democracy and peace ascribed to by all its members;
Whereas the current security and political situation in Mali is of major concern to the international liberal community;
Whereas the mission of the ALN, as set out in its founding Charter and the Johannesburg Declaration of June 2003, is to defend and promote freedom, democracy, peace and the rule of law across the African continent.
The conflict that shook Mali resulted in a massive humanitarian and political crisis that destabilised state institutions, led to the widespread displacement of civilians and a loss of human life, the rape and abuse of women, the enrollment child soldiers and unprecedented destruction of the country’s heritage, including the burning of the Timbuktu library and the disappearance of ancient manuscripts.
Numerous stakeholders including the United Nations, the African Union, ECOWAS and various other countries intervened in order to stabilise Mali’s state institutions, halt terrorist attacks and recover the nation’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. To this end, several legal instruments have been adopted in order to support a swift resolution to the crisis.
The crisis revealed the fragility of Mali’s state institutions, and in addressing it, a new social contract is required that calls for a sustainable solution that includes Malians of all faiths, ethnicities and all political or ideological persuasions.
Organizations that adhere to liberal democratic philosophy, particularly the Africa Liberal Network, supported by, amongst others, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, have a role to play in resolving the crisis in Mali.
From the ALN’s point of view, all contemporary democracies must be rooted in the same common values of freedom of the individual in order to be successful. These values must be rooted in a framework that includes the rule of law, separation of powers, protection of individual and collective freedoms, political pluralism, respect for minorities, freedom of expression, peace and safety.
Flowing from these common values of democracy, the ALN makes the following proposals in order to address the situation in Mali:
1. Re-establish the rule of law:
a. Rebuild a credible, decentralised state;
b. Establish an independent and fair judiciary and a Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission;
c. Redefine the role and responsibilities of the defense and security forces as supporting mechanisms for democratic governance in the country;
d. Define a new social contract underpinned by a secular state;
e. Restore trust between all players in the crisis and unite them in working towards the organisation of elections;
f. Develop a code of conduct for all participants in the electoral process.
2. Effectively guarantee the safety of people:
a. Ensure the effective protection and security of people and property;
b. Establish a specialised regional force to fight against all forms of organized crime, including terrorist groups and drug trafficking networks;
c. Ensure the creation of conditions for the return of displaced persons and refugees in order to strengthen social cohesion and national unity.
3. Establish a system for monitoring and evaluating the process and issuing early warnings if necessary:
a. Establish a committee for monitoring and evaluating the crisis resolution process;
b. Ensure that there is a regional body to oversee the effective implementation of the crisis resolution process and intervene if required;
c. Identify potential factors that may disrupt the national reconciliation process and make appropriate preemptive interventions;
d. Create links with the African Union, European Union and the United Nations in order to secure their cooperation and support with the crisis turnaround plan.
– Olivier Kamitatu Etsu, President of the ALN, President of the ARC / DR Congo
– Mr. Gilbert Noël Ouedraogo, Vice-President of the ALN, President of the ADF-RDA / Burkina Faso
– Ben Fana Ousmane Traoré, President of PCR / Mali
– Honourable Abdoulaye Sidibe, RDR / Ivory Coast
– Dr. Lamine Ba, President of PLC / Senegal
– Dr. Malick Dieng, PDS / Senegal
– Mr. Alpha Diallo, President of the PULS / Guinea
– Dr. Youssouf Sylla, UFDG / Guinea
– Dr. Aïssata Daffé, UFR / Guinea
– Honorable Thierno Bocoum Rewmi / Senegal (observer)
– Me Djibril War, APR / Senegal (observer)