Report of the Secretary-General on developments in Guinea-Bissau and the activities of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (S/2016/141)

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I. Introduction

  1. The present report is submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 2203 (2015), by which the Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS) until 29 February 2016 and requested me to submit reports to it every six months on the implementation of the resolution. The report also provides an update on key political, security, human rights, socioeconomic and humanitarian developments in Guinea-Bissau since the issuance of my report of 13 August 2015 (S/2015/626).

II. Major developments in Guinea-Bissau

A. Political situation

2. The political environment in Guinea-Bissau has continued to be marked by tensions and divisions within the ruling African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cabo Verde (PAIGC) and among the sovereign organs of the State. The reporting period saw the parties engaged in political and legal battles over the appointment of a new Prime Minister, the formation of a new Government and the adoption of the Government’s programme.

3. On 17 August, in response to a request by the President of Guinea-Bissau, José Mário Vaz, to PAIGC to nominate a new Prime Minister to replace Domingos Simões Pereira, who had been dismissed on 12 August, PAIGC renominated Mr. Simões Pereira. On 20 August, the President issued a decree appointing the Party’s third Vice-President, Baciro Djá, as Prime Minister instead. Mr. Djá was sworn in on the same day. The appointment was met with widespread condemnation, in particular by PAIGC, which had suspended Mr. Djá on 6 August following his alleged refusal to respond to its requests to account for expenses incurred during his management of the 2014 electoral campaign. On 24 August, the National Assembly adopted a resolution requesting the annulment of the presidential decree, calling for ongoing dialogue among State institutions and proposing the establishment of a stability pact to ensure political and social stability and the country’s governability until the completion of the ninth legislature and presidential term. Furthermore, the National Assembly approved the creation of a parliamentary commission to investigate the veracity of crimes, including corruption, embezzlement, nepotism and other economic crimes, alleged by President Vaz, in his 12 August address to the nation, to have been committed by members of the Government of Prime Minister Simões Pereira. On 8 September, only one day after the swearing-in of the Government of Prime Minister Djá, the Supreme Court of Justice unanimously ruled that the presidential decree appointing Mr. Djá was unconstitutional. In a decree issued on 9 September, the President dismissed the Government of Prime Minister Djá following the latter’s resignation.

4. At an Extraordinary Summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) held on 12 September, the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS extended the mandate of its Mission in Guinea-Bissau (ECOMIB) through June 2016. It also mandated the President of Senegal, Macky Sall, and the President of Guinea, Alpha Condé, in their respective capacities as ECOWAS Chair and ECOWAS Mediator for Guinea-Bissau, with the assistance of the former President of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo, in his capacity as Special Envoy of the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, to facilitate dialogue with all stakeholders to find a lasting solution to the crisis.

5. In pursuance of that request, former President Obasanjo visited Guinea-Bissau twice to help resolve the political crisis. During his visit from 15 to 17 September, he held intensive consultations with President Vaz and the leadership of PAIGC, the Party for Social Renewal (PRS), the Democratic Convergence Party and the Union for Change, all represented in the National Assembly. He also met with the Speaker of Parliament and the President of the Supreme Court of Justice. On 16 September, President Vaz initiated consultations with the five political parties represented in the National Assembly regarding the appointment of a new Prime Minister. In his consultations with PAIGC, he requested that it propose three names for the position of Prime Minister. In response, the Party submitted the name of its First Vice-President, Carlos Correia, which was accepted by the President. On 17 September, Mr. Correia was appointed and sworn into office by President Vaz. At a press conference on the same day, former President Obasanjo proposed that President Vaz, the National Assembly, the Prime Minister, political parties and civil society should sign the proposed stability pact to promote cooperation and dialogue.

6. On 2 October, following a series of consultations within PAIGC and with other political parties, Prime Minister Correia submitted his list of Cabinet nominees to President Vaz. In a letter dated 6 October, the President informed the Prime Minister of his decision not to appoint the proposed Cabinet, citing, inter alia, ongoing parliamentary investigations into mismanagement allegedly committed by some of the nominees. In response to the President’s request for a new list, the Prime Minister resubmitted the same list of names on 7 October and requested the President to disclose the evidence that he had against those he was unwilling to appoint.