ECOWAS stresses need for effective implementation of Bissau and Conakry agreements
Expressing its deep concern at the continuing political crisis in the country and the demonstrations, the resulting police repression, the delegation has urged the parties to respect public freedoms, including the right to demonstrate peacefully.
The main objective of this mission was to carry out, with all stakeholders involved in the Bissau-Guinean crisis, the evaluation of the implementation of the Conakry and Bissau Agreements, in order to report on them at the next ECOWAS statutory meetings to be held in Abuja, Nigeria from 12 to 16 December 2017.
These meetings would decide on the application of collective and/or individual sanctions and the extension or disengagement of the ECOWAS Military Mission in Bissau (ECOMIB).
The delegation “notes that the three months granted to the Guinea-Bissau authorities at the Monrovia Summit in June 2017 to conduct internal consultations for a consensual solution to the crisis expired on 3 September 2017 with no result. Also notes that the commitment made by the Guinea-Bissau authorities at this Summit to present a plan to end the crisis has not been respected,” reads the communique released at the end of the mission by the head of the delegation, the Togolese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and African Integration and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of ECOWAS, Robert Dussey.
The delegation has also called on all political leaders of Guinea-Bissau, including the President of the Republic, the President of the National Assembly and the leaders of political parties to demonstrate restraint, sense of State and responsibility and respect the country's Constitution with a view to reaching a solution to the current political stalemate that jeopardizes the fragile progress on the path to consolidation of peace and stability in Guinea-Bissau.
The four-member delegation to Bissau has also stressed also the importance of holding free, fair and credible elections within the time limits laid down in the Constitution, and in this respect urged all Bissau-Guinean actors to place the supreme interests of their country and their people above all other considerations and to begin to work towards the creation of conditions conducive to successful parliamentary elections in 2018.
Also, ECOWAS delegation has congratulated the Defense and Security Forces of Guinea-Bissau for their position of neutrality towards political actors and encouraged them to keep in this republican position.
During its stay in Bissau, ECOWAS delegation met with all stakeholders in the Bissau-Guinean crisis, civil society organizations and the international community.
The high-level ECOWAS mission was in Bissau at the request of Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe, President of Togo and Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government.
In addition to the Head of Togolese diplomacy, this high-level delegation also included the Minister of State, Secretary General to the Presidency of the Republic of Guinea, representing Guinean President the ECOWAS Mediator for Guinea-Bissau, the Representative of the Senegalese Foreign Affairs Minister and the President of ECOWAS Commission.