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The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), at its 800th meeting held on 10 October 2018, considered a report on its field mission to Guinea Bissau which took place from 27 to 28 July 2018, and received updates on the development on the situation in Guinea Bissau, and adopted the following decision:

Council,

1.  Takes note of the report of its field mission to the Republic of Guinea Bissau, which was undertaken from 27 to 28 July 2018;

2.  Notes with satisfaction the improved political situation in Guinea Bissau and commends all stakeholders for the progress made and efforts deployed so far in the implementation of the 2016 Conakry Agreement namely, the appointment of a consensual Prime Minister on 16 April 2018 and the setting of a date, 18 November 2018 for the legislative elections. In this regard, Council urges all political parties and all the other stakeholders to uphold their commitments to the on-going peace process, by sacrificing their personal interests for the goodness of their country, allow their full participation in resolving political differences, and to ensure that the planned elections take place in a free, fair and credible manner;

3.   Expresses its support to the on-going political peace efforts led by Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and to the mediation process led by H.E. President Alpha Conde of the Republic of Guinea. Council reiterates the AU’s readiness and determination to spare no efforts in supporting Bissau Guinean to overcome the challenges they are currently facing while preparing for legislative elections on 18 November 2018 and presidential elections in 2019, in furtherance of the implementation of the Conakry Agreement. In this regard, Council stresses the important role of the group of the five international organizations (P5) supporting peace process in Guinea Bissau, the AU, United Nations (UN), ECOWAS, European Union (EU) and the CPLP, in coordinating the efforts deployed by the larger international community in support to the organization of the elections;

4.   Welcomes the Communiqué of the 53rd Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government adopted on 31 July 2018, in Lomé, Togo, in which, among others, the Authority welcomed the progress made in the Country and decided to lift the sanctions imposed on some Guinea Bissau political stakeholders;

5.  Commends the critical role of the ECOWAS Mission in Guinea-Bissau (ECOMIB) in stabilizing Guinea Bissau despite the operational and financial challenges and welcomes the renewal of the ECOMIB mandate from 1 July to 31 December 31. Council express its appreciation to the EU’s commitment to support the ECOMIB operations from September 2018 up to August 2019,  and appeals to the larger international community to extend their financial support for the continuation of ECOMIB operations, with a view of stabilizing the Country, until the necessary capacitation of the national security forces is accomplished;

6.  Commends all multilateral and bilateral partners for their contribution and financial pledges for the organization of the planned elections, in particular the Government of Nigeria  for providing kits required for the voter’s registration, and calls on all AU member States and the larger international community to continue extending the necessary logistical and financial support to Guinea Bissau in this crucial phase of its democratic construction;

7.  Encourages the Government and political actors in Guinea Bissau to develop and ensure the adoption of a Code of Conduct to ensure that the elections are conducted in accordance with the shared values and relevant instruments of the AU, including the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance. Furthermore, Council stresses the importance for political parties to accept the election outcomes and to refrain from any recourse to violence in settling any election- related irregularities and grievances but, instead, to use all available legal channels in the country;

8.  Underscores the need for the Constitution 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 to reform of the national security forces in order to give it a republican status that reflects the national population in all its components;

9.  Encourages the Government of Guinea Bissau to work towards empowerment of women and youth in order to provide a room for their fully participation in the political activities in the country;

10.  Reiterates its requests to the AU Commission to dispatch, as soon as possible, an electoral technical assessment mission to Guinea Bissau, to evaluate the conditions and the preparation for the holding of the upcoming legislative elections and report to Council accordingly; and further requests the AU Commission to provide technical expertise for the envisaged constitutional review exercise in close collaboration with ECOWAS and the UN.

11.  Adopts the report of its field mission to Guinea Bissau undertaken, from 27 to 29 July 2018, with the recommendations contained therein;

12.  Expresses its gratitude to the people and Government of Guinea Bissau and the AU Liaison Office in Guinea Bissau, as well as the UU for the support accorded to the PSC delegation during its visit; and

13.  Decides to remain seized of the matter.

Posted by Abraham Kebede

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TAGGED IN THEMATIC(S):
Peace and Security council
TAGGED IN REGION(S) :
Guinea Bissau

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