Communique of the 855th meeting of the PSC on the situation in Guinea Bissau, held on 11 June 2019
Adopted by the Peace and Security Council at its 855th meeting held on 11 June 2019, on the situation in Guinea Bissau,
The Peace and Security Council,
Recalling its communiqué [PSC/PR/COMM.2(DCCC)], adopted at its 800th meetings held on 10 October 2018 on the situation in Guinea Bissau, which reiterated the AU’s readiness and determination to spare no efforts in supporting Bissau Guinean to overcome the challenges facing them in the preparations for the legislative and presidential elections in 2019, in the implementation of the Conakry Agreement;
Noting the statements by the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Sierra Leone to the African Union, H.E. Ambassador Dr. Brima Patrick Kapuwa, in his capacity as the Chairperson of the PSC for the month of June 2019 and by the Director of Peace and Security Department, Dr. Admore Kambudzi, on behalf of the Commissioner for Peace and Security, as well as the briefing made by the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the Commission for Guinea Bissau, Ambassador Ovidio Pequeno; also noting the statements made by the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Guinea Bissau, the Hon. Joao Ribeiro Butiam Co, and by the representatives of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU);
Reaffirming the solidarity of the African Union with the Bissau Guinean people in their aspirations and efforts towards the implementation of the 2016 Conakry Agreement and Bissau Roadmap.
Acting under Article 7 of its Protocol, the Peace and Security Council:
Expresses its deep concern over the lack of progress in resolving the political deadlock in the country resulted from the legislative elections of 10 March 2019, the non-appointment of a Prime Minister and the current stalemate in the People’s National Assembly (ANP) that continue to negatively impact on the already dire socio-economic situation in Guinea Bissau;
Calls on the political leaders of Guinea-Bissau to redouble efforts and act more proactively and enter into dialogue, without pre-conditions, with a view to expeditiously addressing the institutional challenges facing the country, towards yielding the greater peace dividend for the people of Guinea-Bissau; In this respect, urges the political parties represented in the ANP to create a climate of understanding with a view to finalizing the election of the parliament bodies in respect of the Constitution and laws of the country in order to allow the normal functioning of the Government and institutions of Guinea Bissau;
Calls upon the President of the Republic of Guinea Bissau to urgently initiate consultations, with a view to appointing a Prime Minister, in accordance with the will of the people, as expressed in the legislative elections of 10 March 2019 and, in due course, to announce the date of the presidential election scheduled for this year before the expiration of his current term on 23 June 2019;
Underscores the need for a constructive dialogue among all stakeholders to consolidate peace and stability in Guinea-Bissau and calls upon the national authorities to expedite the revision of Guinea-Bissau Constitution, in accordance with the 2016 Conakry Agreement, as well as the ECOWAS Six?point Road Map.
Expresses its support to the on-going efforts led by ECOWAS and the mediation process under the auspices of H.E. President Alpha Conde of the Republic of Guinea and reiterates the AU’s readiness and determination to spare no efforts in supporting Bissau Guineans to overcome the challenges they are currently facing.
Commends the international partners, particularly the Group of the five international organizations (P5) namely, the AU, the ECOWAS, Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP), EU, the UN and the wider international community for their tireless support to the people of Guinea Bissau and calls on all the political actors in Guinea Bissau to value these efforts by putting national interest above any other considerations and uphold the country’s Constitution and abide by their commitments as spelled out in the stability pact.
Reiterates the critical role of the ECOWAS Mission in Guinea-Bissau (ECOMIB) in stabilizing Guinea Bissau, despite the operational and financial challenges; Notes with concern the expiration of the ECOMIB mandate on 30 September 2019 and the intention of the ECOWAS troop contributing countries to start withdrawing their troops, which may further deteriorate the security in the country; In this regard, appeals to the larger international community to extend their financial support for the continuation of ECOMIB operations, with a view to further stabilizing the country, pending the necessary capacitation of the national security and defense forces to ensure their responsibilities with regard to security;
Expresses its deep concern over the increase of drug-related crimes in Guinea Bissau, which remain a country’s major security concern and contributes to the instability of the country; in this regard, urges the Government of Guinea Bissau to strengthen the national laws to be able to address the drug-related crimes;
Once again, underscores the need for the constitutional reform, with a view to clarifying, among other aspects, the powers of sovereign state organs, in order to reinforce the rule of law, separation of power, and maintain checks and balances in the national political dispensation. Council further emphasizes the urgent need of reform of the national defense and security sector in order to give it a stronger republican status; In this context, reiterates its request to the AU Commission to reactivate its efforts towards providing expertise to the constitutional reform process of Guinea Bissau;
Decides to urgently dispatch the PSC Troika to Guinea Bissau, to work closely with the Government of Guinea Bissau, the ECOWAS, the UN and other international partners in finding a solution to the current impasse on the political crisis in Guinea - Bissau, including the preparation for the holding of the upcoming presidential elections and for the envisaged technical support for the revision of the constitution;
Decides to remain seized of the matter.