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Guinea Bissau High on ECOWAS’ Agenda

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Liberia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Mr. Lewis G. Brown, has told Members of the United Nations Security Council that in continued efforts at finding an amicable and peaceful resolution to the crisis in the West African nation of Guinea Bissau, it has been placed high on ECOWAS’ agenda.

According to a dispatch from New York, in a statement delivered at a meeting of the UN Security Council concerning Guinea Bissau on Tuesday, February 14, Ambassador Brown, speaking on behalf of the Chair of ECOWAS’ Authority, Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, said that at a most recent meeting on the margins of the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, the ECOWAS Commission discussed ways to continue the mediation efforts, including the continuation of support for the Mediator, His Excellency President Alpha Condé of Guinea.

“The President of Sierra Leone, His Excellency Ernest BaiKoroma has been designated to assist President Condé in the mediation considering that President Condé has also assumed the Chairmanship of the African Union,” he said, adding that a meeting of the PAIGC is scheduled to be convened in Conakry, Guinea, very soon, by President Condé.

“The challenge which now faces the Government of Guinea Bissau is to have its development plan endorsed by the Parliament, which if unsuccessful, would mean that the newly appointed Prime Minister would have to resign,” Mr. Brown disclosed; noting that this is a source of growing tension between the Speaker of the Parliament and the Executive Branch.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Brown stressed that the ECOWAS Authority calls on all parties and stakeholders in Guinea Bissau to remain engaged and to support the ongoing peace efforts and collaborate for the passage of the development agenda which will trigger the release of the donor funding required to assist in meeting the needs of the people of Guinea Bissau.

Giving a retrospection account of reconciliatory engagements since the signing of the Conakry Agreement on the political impasse in that country, he told the UN Council Members that in furtherance of the implementation of the Agreement, the Authority of Heads of State of ECOWAS tasked Her Excellency, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Chairperson of the Authority, to follow up with all stakeholders on their commitments.

“In light of this mandate, Her Excellency led a Presidential Mission to Guinea Bissau on 5th November, 2016, consisting of the President of the ECOWAS Commission, H.E. Marcel de Souza, the Minister of State of Guinea, YousoufKiridiBangoura, representing President Alpha Conde, ECOWAS’ Mediator, along with other officials of ECOWAS, the African Union, the United Nations, the European Union, amongst others. This mission was to provide the opportunity to advance progress in resolving the crisis.”

Ambassador Brown told the UNSC that ECOWAS recognizes that the current political stalemate undermines Guinea Bissau’s socio-economic development, and is a threat to peace and stability in that country, and by extension, the entire West African sub-region.

The Liberian UN Permanent Representative further told the Council that the Authority of Heads of State and Governments of ECOWAS remains engaged and seized of finding a lasting solution to the political impasse in Guinea Bissau. “The failure to implement the Conakry Agreement of October 14, 2016, signed by all stakeholders, and the contentious appointment of a non-consensual Prime Minister remain issues of grave concern in advancing the peace efforts,” he indicated.-Press release

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