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Recent developments in Mali and Algeria and the threat to security and human rights in the Mediterranean region

Doc. 13107: collection of written amendments | Doc. 13107 | Final version

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ADraft Resolution

1The Parliamentary Assembly is deeply concerned about the human rights and security situation in Mali and the recent crisis into Algeria, a country in the Council of Europe’s immediate neighbourhood, where, on 16 January 2013, hundreds of Algerian and foreign nationals were taken hostage by radical Islamist terrorist groups.

In the draft resolution, paragraph 1, delete the word "islamist".

Explanatory note

Terror has no religion. It is inappropriate to associate a word deviated from the name of a world religion with crime, radicalism or terror in any resolution or report of the Council of Europe.

2The Assembly notes that the recent French military intervention in Mali, in response to a specific request from the Government of Mali, endorsed by the United Nations Security Council, is aimed at halting the radical Islamist Al-Qaida-linked armed groups who were rapidly advancing towards the capital, perpetrating grave human rights violations and threatening the stability of the whole region and the African continent as a whole. These groups, armed with heavy weapons partly originating from the war in Libya, gradually seized control of northern Mali, after fighting between government troops and Tuareg rebels broke out in the north of the country in January 2012 and after a military coup in the capital, in March 2012, caused further political instability.

23 January 2013

Tabled by Ms Pelin GÜNDEŞ BAKIR, Ms Tülin ERKAL KARA, Mr Ahmet Kutalmiş TÜRKEŞ, Ms Kerstin LUNDGREN, Mr Şaban DİŞLİ, Mr Fazil MUSTAFA

Votes: 46 in favor 34 against 6 abstentions

In the draft resolution, paragraph 2, delete the words "radical Islamist".

Explanatory note

Al-Qaida is well known terrorist organization. Islam, on the other hand, is a religion of peace. Consequently, Al-Qaida's methods are not approved by the mainstream Muslims. The Council of Europe Resolutions should not associate terrorist organizations with Islam.

3The Assembly notes that the traditionally nomadic Tuareg people have aspired to independence for decades in northern Mali. However, their renewed rebellion in January 2012 can be seen as a domino effect of the recent war in Libya, as Tuareg, settled in Libya or recruited as mercenaries by Gaddafi, returned to Mali after his defeat having acquired both arms and training. In this respect, the Assembly calls on the Libyan authorities to further enhance their efforts to collect the weapons remaining from the 2011 war, which pose a threat to the security of the whole region.

23 January 2013

Tabled by Mr Andreas GROSS, Lord Donald ANDERSON, Mr Roman JAKIČ, Lord John E. TOMLINSON, Ms Eka BESELIA, Mr Renato FARINA, Mr Luc RECORDON

Votes: 69 in favor 18 against 9 abstentions

In the draft resolution, paragraph 3, replace the words "The Assembly notes" with the following words: "The Assembly recognizes the complexity of the local situation and the varied policies and background of the Tuareg groups often stemming from the long-standing neglect of the north from colonial times and notes".

In the draft resolution, paragraph 3, delete the last sentence.

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 3, insert the following paragraph:

"In this respect, the Assembly, remembering the importance of the full implementation of the UNSC Resolution 2017, calls upon the Libyan authorities to take all necessary steps to prevent the proliferation of all arms and related materiel of all types, in particular man-portable surface-to-air missiles, to ensure their proper custody, as well as to meet Libya's arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation obligations under international law, through the full implementation of their plans in this regard."

4The Assembly welcomes the fact that Tuareg rebels have recently renounced their independence aspirations in favour of political autonomy within Mali, declaring their readiness to help their former opponents in the fight against the terrorists.

In the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 4, add the following words: "In this connection, the Assembly considers that the Tuareg rebels' decision constitutes a constructive dynamic to be encouraged with a view to a peaceful, political settlement of the regional conflicts."

5On the other hand, the Assembly is concerned that terrorist cells which have infiltrated Mali in recent months reportedly originate from all over the world.

23 January 2013

Tabled by Mr Pietro MARCENARO, Ms Marietta de POURBAIX-LUNDIN, Mr Björn von SYDOW, Lord John E. TOMLINSON, Mr Jean-Claude FRÉCON

Votes: 64 in favor 20 against 4 abstentions

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 5, insert the following paragraph:

"The Assembly is also concerned that the continuing deterioration of the civil war in Syria, in the absence of any efficient international solution, constitutes a further dangerous flash point."

6The Assembly calls for the rapid implementation of Resolution 2085 on Mali, adopted by the United Nations Security Council in December 2012, which provides for the deployment of an African-led international support mission in Mali, in co-ordination with other partners, including a time-limited European Union-led training mission.

23 January 2013

Tabled by Ms Josette DURRIEU, Mr Jean-Marie BOCKEL, Mr Gérard BAPT, Lord Donald ANDERSON, Mr António BRAGA

Votes: 82 in favor 3 against 4 abstentions

In the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 6, add the following words: "To this end, the Assembly asks the member, observer and partner States to support the action taken by the ECOWAS to ensure the implementation of the International Support Mission for Mali (MISMA) and invites them to provide the financial and logistical support necessary for the rapid deployment of this mission's troops and to participate actively in the donor conference for the defence of Mail, to be held in Addis Ababa on 29 January 2013."

7The increased involvement of, and solidarity by, other European and African States, the European Union and the United States of America, in support of French and Malian forces on the ground, are necessary to put an end to the establishment of a regime based on terrorism, hostage taking and drug and arms-trafficking in the Sahel – with all the consequences this might have for the Mediterranean region, Europe as a whole and the international community at large – and restore Mali’s constitutional order and territorial integrity.

In the draft resolution, move paragraphs 6 and 7 to after paragraph 2.

8The Assembly condemns the terrorist attack on the Algerian gas plant in In Amenas in January 2013 and deplores the deaths of dozens of hostages, including nationals of Council of Europe member and observer States. This tragedy reminds the international community of the continuing threats posed by the scourge of terrorism, and the need for an efficient international response, including the suppression of the sources of financing of terrorist groups.

23 January 2013

Tabled by Lord Donald ANDERSON, Mr Gvozden Srećko FLEGO, Ms Melita MULIĆ, Lord Alexander DUNDEE, Mr Joe BENTON

Votes: 83 in favor 3 against 1 abstention

In the draft resolution, paragraph 8, after the words "observer States." insert the following words: "The Assembly acknowledges that over many years the Algerian government and people have suffered the most violent attacks on their territory from terrorists with an absolutist ideological agenda and understands, therefore, why in the emergency situation in the gas plant they responded robustly to terrorists with whom there was no prospect of serious negotiation."

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 8, insert the following paragraph:

"The Assembly acknowledges the Algerian security forces counter-terrorist activities and the continuing threat posed by al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Magrheb (AQIM) and associated groups. European governments should continue to assist the Algerian authorities in countering terrorist threats in the region."

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 8, insert the following paragraph:

"The Assembly commends the determined action taken by Algeria to rescue the hostages in the gas plants in In Amenas. The Assembly supports the Algerian Government in combating terrorism which is a crime against humanity and has no religion and nationality and reiterates its conviction that an efficient fight against terrorism can only be achieved in solidarity with international community."

9The Assembly recalls that the Council of Europe has drawn up a comprehensive set of legal instruments to be used in combating terrorism and its financing, including in particular the Revised European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism (ETS No. 90 as revised by ETS No. 190), the Council of Europe Convention for the Prevention of Terrorism (CETS No. 196), the Council of Europe Convention on the Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime and on the Financing of Terrorism (CETS No. 198), as well as the Guidelines on Human Rights and the Fight against Terrorism and the Guidelines on Victims of terrorism. It calls on Council of Europe member and observer States to make full use of these instruments in co-ordinating their actions against terrorism.
10The Assembly strongly condemns the continuing and shocking human rights violations perpetrated by the radical Islamist rebels in northern Mali, including extrajudicial killings, torture, rape, amputations, arbitrary detentions, forced disappearances and recruitment of child soldiers. It notes that human rights violations have also been committed in government-controlled areas and urges the Malian army and its supporters to refrain from any violent reprisals when they start regaining control in the north.

In the draft resolution, paragraph 10, delete the word "Islamist".

Explanatory note

Islam preaches peace and the values of Islam are clearly defined. Killings, torture, rape, amputations, and other crimes defined in the report have no place in Islam. Quite the contrary, Islam condemns all these crimes.

11It notes that a report recently published by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) stresses that women and young girls in particular have undergone degrading treatment in the north, including harassment, abuse and sexual violence by radical Islamist rebels, often perpetrated in front of family members, based on accusations of being improperly veiled or dressed.

In the draft resolution, in paragraph 11, delete the word "Islamist".

Explanatory note

Islam preaches peace and the values of Islam are clearly defined. Harrasment, abuse and sexual violence to women have no place in Islam. Quite the contrary, these crimes are strongly condemned by Islam and constitute the biggest sins according to Islam.

12The Assembly welcomes the recent decision by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court formally to open an investigation into alleged crimes in Mali – including murder, rape and torture – with a focus on the northern part of the country, having determined that some acts of brutality and destruction may constitute war crimes. Following a thorough and impartial investigation, perpetrators must be brought to justice and held accountable for the crimes they have committed.
13The Assembly is also concerned about the humanitarian consequences of the conflict in Mali: hundreds of thousands of civilians have fled Mali to neighbouring countries or have been internally displaced throughout 2012. Further displacements took place in January 2013. The Assembly calls on Council of Europe member and observer States to provide concrete support to the relief efforts by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Mali and neighbouring countries.
14Noting that the conflict escalated after a military coup and the collapse of democratic institutions, the Assembly joins the United Nations Security Council in calling on the transitional authorities in Mali to finalise a transitional roadmap, through inclusive political dialogue, in order to restore constitutional order and the country’s national unity, including through the holding of peaceful, credible and inclusive presidential and legislative elections, as soon as technically feasible. The Assembly believes that only a reconciliation process can ultimately provide the response not only to the current human rights, humanitarian and security challenges in Mali, but also to the longstanding and unresolved problems in the region.

In the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 14, add the following words: "To this end, the Assembly calls on the neighbouring countries to give their support to a political process and pursue their active commitment in favour of preserving security and the territorial integrity of Mali."

15Finally the Assembly notes that the terrorist attacks in Mali and Algeria are part of a wider swathe of Islamic terrorism in the Sahel which extends as far as Nigeria, with the atrocities committed by Boko Haram in northern Nigeria. Although there are different national characteristics, the root motivation is similar throughout the region. The Council of Europe member and observer States, and States whose parliaments enjoy partner for democracy status, should be ready to assist countries in the region, when requested, to combat this scourge.

In the draft resolution, in paragraph 15, delete the word "Islamic".

Explanatory note

Just as it is wrong to use phrases such as 'Christan or Judaic types of terrorism' in any resolution of the Council of Europe, it is also wrong to use phrases such as 'Islamic terrorism' in our resolutions, since terror has no religion.

23 January 2013

Tabled by Lord Donald ANDERSON, Mr Andreas GROSS, Mr João Bosco MOTA AMARAL, Lord Alexander DUNDEE, Mr Joe BENTON

Votes: 83 in favor 11 against 4 abstentions

In the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 15, add the following sentence: "Such assistance may involve military intervention, including the provision of military assets and training and continued development aid, but ultimately lasting stability can only be achieved by a political roadmap leading to national reconstruction, enhanced democracy and respect for human rights."