The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), at its 658th meeting, held on 13 February 2017, received a briefing on the situation in the Republic of Guinea-Bissau and adopted the following decision:
1. Takes note of the briefings made by the Commission and the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the Commission for Guinea-Bissau, Ambassador Ovidio Manuel Barbosa Pequeno. Council also takes note of the statement made by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, His Excellency Umaro Mouktar Cissoko Embalo, as well as of the statements made by the representatives of Liberia, in its capacity as the Chair of the Authority of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Senegal as an African Member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the UN and the European Union (EU);
2. Recalls its previous communiques and press statements on the situation in Guinea-Bissau, in particular, Press Statement PSC/PR/BR.(DCXXIII), adopted at its 623rd meeting held on 8 September 2016, calling for dialogue and respect for the Constitution of Guinea Bissau;
3. Expresses deep concern over the continued political stalemate and the institutional crisis in Guinea Bissau, which is marked by persistent tension among political leaders and which are seriously undermining the gains made since the 2014 legislative and presidential elections. Council also expresses concern over the persistent socio-economic difficulties that the current crisis has caused to the people of Guinea Bissau;
4. Reiterates its call for all Bissau-Guinean stakeholders to adhere to the provisions of the country’s Constitution and underscores the importance of the 10 September 2016 Roadmap and the 14 October 2016 Conakry Agreement as the only frameworks for a peaceful resolution of the crisis. Council calls upon the Bissau-Guinean stakeholders to strictly respect and comply with the Agreement and the Roadmap in addressing their differences and the challenges facing their country. Council further calls upon the Bissau-Guinean stakeholders to refrain from actions and statements that could escalate tensions and incite violence;
5. Urges the President of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau to ensure that the provisions of the Conakry Agreement are respected and appeals to the Guinea-Bissau authorities and other concerned stakeholders to take all necessary steps towards the full implementation of the Conakry Agreement, including through strengthening the dialogue and establishing an inclusive government, as well as putting the interests of the country and its people above all other interests;
6. Commends the restraint demonstrated by the defence and security forces of Guinea Bissau, which, so far, have refrained from interfering in the political and institutional crisis facing the country. In this regard, Council encourages these forces to continue to demonstrate professionalism and uphold their constitutional mandate;
7. Reiterates the importance of the role of the ECOWAS Mission in Guinea Bissau (ECOMIB) in stabilizing the country, and calls for joint efforts to mobilize financial resources to support the continuation of ECOMIB operations in Guinea-Bissau. In this regard, Council welcomes the willingness of the EU to consider options for providing further support to the ECOMIB mission;
8. Urges ECOWAS to urgently dispatch a ministerial mission to Guinea-Bissau, as part of the follow-up steps for the implementation of the Conakry Agreement, in order to identify and address the obstacles impeding the implementation of the Agreement, with a view to promoting a durable solution to the crisis in that country;
9. Commends the efforts being deployed by ECOWAS, particularly through its current Chair, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, and the ECOWAS Mediator, President Alpha Conde of Guinea, with the support of President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone. Council also commends the larger international community, particularly the UN, the EU and the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP) for the support being provided to Guinea-Bissau and urges them to enhance this support, in order to enable the Bissau-Guinean people overcome their challenges;
10. Further commends the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the Commission for Guinea-Bissau, Ambassador Ovidio Manuel Barbosa Pequeno, for his continued efforts in support of the Bissau-Guinean stakeholders and encourages him to persevere;
11. Requests the AU Commission to continue to provide regular updates to Council on the situation in Guinea-Bissau;
12. Decides to remain actively seized of the situation.
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