ECOWAS to End Guinea Bissau Crisis

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Political leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have signed a final Communiqué aimed at ending the political crisis in Guinea Bissau, while mandating all stakeholders to respect the ‘Conakry Agreement,’ an Executive Mansion release has said.

In furtherance of a briefing to the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government presented by the President of Guinea, Professor Alpha Conde, on the recent Agreement signed by all stakeholders of Guinea Bissua on October 14, in Conakry, Guinea and on the margins of the Maritime Security
Summit held in Lome, Togo on October 15, the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government tasked President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Chairperson of ECOWAS, to as a matter of urgency, follow up with all stakeholders on the implementation of the signed agreement.

According to a dispatch quoted by an Executive Mansion press release, President Sirleaf led a Presidential Mission to Bissau on November 5, accompanied by Foreign Minister Marjon Kamara, to provide the opportunity that would lead to a decisive progress in solving the persisting crisis in Guinea Bissau.

The Mission recognized that the current political stalemate put Guinea Bissau’s stability and development at risk, which must be overcome by the swift appointment, without delay, of a consensual Prime Minister who has the confidence of the President of the Republic, in accordance with the Conakry Agreement.

The meeting was informed of the conclusions of the Presidential Mission to Guinea Bissau led by the Chairperson of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government and President of Liberia and assisted by Marcel A. de Souza, President of ECOWAS Commission; Representative of the
ECOWAS Mediator, Yousouf Kiridi Bangoura; Minister of State, representing the President of Guinea, the Commission for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Mrs. Halima Ahmed; and supported by the Representative of ECOWAS, African Union, United Nations and European Union, among others.

Pursuant to this decision, ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government signed a final Communiqué which focuses on the following six points: that the stakeholders reaffirme their commitment to the Conakry Agreement; encourage the stakeholders to accelerate the reintegration of the 15 “dissident” MPs into the PAIGS in compliance with the Conakry Agreement; and the appointment by the President of the Republic of a consensual Prime Minister without further delay, who has the confidence of the Republic.

The remaining points of the Communiqué are the formation of an all-inclusive government, taking into account the parliamentary representations of the political parties; the convening of parliamentary sessions in the shortest possible time; and the organization of a national dialogue roundtable to discuss the ‘Stability Pact’ meant to articulate key constitutional and institutional reforms before 2018 legislative elections as stated in Conakry Agreement.

Meanwhile, the High-Level ECOWAS Mission reiterated its appeal to all stakeholders of Guinea Bissua to respect the Conakry Agreement. The Chairperson of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government and President of Liberia thanked the government and people of Guinea Bissua for the warm welcome and courtesy accorded her and the mission.

The final Communique was signed by President Sirleaf, Chairperson of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government; H. E Jose Mario Vaz, President of the Republic of Guinea Bissau; and H.E Marcel A. de Souza, President of the ECOWAS Commission.
President Sirleaf and delegation returned to Liberia late Saturday evening.

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