PSC/PR/COMM.2(CCXVI) Page 1 COMMUNIQUE OF THE 216th MEETING OF THE PEACE AND SECURITY COUNCIL The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 216th meeting held on 19 February 2010, adopted the following decision on the situation in the Republic Niger: Council: 1. Takes note of the briefing made by the Commission on the situation in Niger; 2. Condemns the seizure of power by force that took place in Niger on 18 February 2010; 3. Recalls Decision PSC/AHG/COMM.2(CCVII) adopted at its 207th meeting held in Abuja on 29 October 2009, through which it endorsed the decisions on the situation in Niger as adopted by the Extraordinary Summit of ECOWAS held in Abuja on 17 October 2009, as well as the relevant paragraph of the decision on the report of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union on its Activities and the State of Peace and Security in Africa, adopted by the 14th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union, held in Addis Ababa from 31 January to 2 February 2010 ; 4. Stresses that the relevant AU instruments systematically condemn any unconstitutional change of Government, demands the speedy return to constitutional order based on democratic institutions and affirms the readiness of the AU, in close collaboration with ECOWAS, to facilitate such a process. In this respect, Council endorses the communiqué issued by the Chairperson of the Commission on 19 February 2010; 5. Decides, in accordance with the relevant legal instruments of the AU, to suspend the participation of Niger in all activities of the African Union until the effective restoration of constitutional order in the country, as it existed before the referendum of 4 August 2009; 6. Reiterates its appreciation and strong support for the efforts of ECOWAS, particularly through the mediation led by General Abdulsalami Abubakar, aimed at facilitating the early resolution of the crisis in Niger and the democratic functioning of the institutions of the country, with the participation and support of all the political forces, and encourages it to pursue its action. Council urges AU partners to extend their full support to ECOWAS efforts; 7. Stresses, in the current context, the importance and relevance of the decision adopted by the 14th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union on the Prevention of Unconstitutional Changes of Government and Strengthening of the Capacity of the AU to Manage such Situations, which is based on zero tolerance of coups d’Etat, but also of the violations of democratic norms, the persistence and recurrence of which could result in unconstitutional changes; 8. Welcomes the mission that the Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union intends to immediately undertake to Niamey, together with the President of the ECOWAS Commission and the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary��General for West Africa, and looks forward to the report on the results of this mission; 9. Decides to remain seized of the situation.