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The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), at its 699th meeting, held on 11 July 2017, adopted the following decision on the situation in Guinea Bissau:

 

Council,

 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, H.E. Umaro Mouktar Cissoko Embalo, as well as of the statements made by the representatives of Togo, in its capacity as Chair of the Authority of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the ECOWAS Commission, the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU);

 2. Recalls its previous communiqués and press statements on the situation in Guinea-Bissau, in particular, communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.(DCXLVIII), adopted at its 658th meeting held on 13 February 2017, calling for dialogue and for all Bissau-Guinean stakeholders to strictly respect and comply with the Conakry Agreement of 14 October 2016 and its Roadmap in addressing their differences and the challenges facing their country;

 3. Reiterates its deep concern over the continued political stalemate in Guinea Bissau, as well as over the socio-economic impediments that the current crisis has caused to the people, as well as the institutional paralysis encountered in the last two years;

 4. Also reiterates the continued validity of the 14 October 2016 Conakry Agreement, as the only framework for a peaceful resolution of the crisis in Guinea Bissau. In this respect, Council welcomes the final communiqué of the 51st Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government held in Monrovia, on the 4 June 2017, which underlined the need for all stakeholders to comply with the provisions of the Agreement. Council urges the President of the Republic, José Mário Vaz, to prevail over this situation by leading the way forward in the implementation of the Agreement in line with the latest AU and ECOWAS decisions on Guinea Bissau. Council further urges all parties to refrain from actions or statements that could escalate tensions and incite violence and calls for the respect of human rights and freedom of expression;

 5. Recalls that Guinea Bissau has planned to hold its legislative and presidential elections in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Council underlines the urgent need to overcome the impasse, including through urgent institutional arrangements that could allow creating conditions conducive to timely and smooth preparation and holding of the upcoming elections;

 6. Commends ECOWAS for its continued efforts to find a breakthrough to the current impasse in Guinea Bissau, as reiterated in the final Communique of 51st ECOWAS Summit. In this respect, Council further commends the ECOWAS Mission in Guinea Bissau (ECOMIB) for its stabilization efforts since its deployment in the country and welcomes the extension of its mandate for 3 additional months. Meanwhile, Council expresses concern at the envisaged withdrawal of ECOMIB from Guinea Bissau by end September 2017, due to financial constraints. In this respect, Council calls on the international community to join efforts to mobilize financial resources in support to the continuation of ECOMIB operations in this critical path in Guinea-Bissau. Council expresses its support to the determination of ECOWAS to take all necessary measures to ensure the full implementation of the Conakry Agreement for lasting peace and stability in Guinea Bissau;  

 7. Urges the international community, in particular the P5 (AU, UN, EU, ECOWAS, Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP)), to pursue its efforts in a coordinated manner in the search for a lasting solution to the challenges facing Guinea Bissau. Council further decides to undertake, in the course of 2017, a field mission to Guinea Bissau to follow up on the implementation of AU and ECOWAS decisions and to engage the stakeholders on the way forward;

 8. Requests the Commission to continue to provide regular updates to Council on the situation in Guinea Bissau;

 9. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

 

Posted by Lulit Kebede

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