At the 10th Annual Joint Consultative Meeting of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union and the Political and Security Committee of the European Union…
Ambassador Keh Kamara speaks on the crisis situation in Guinea Bissau
The 15 Members of the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) and its counterpart from the European Union on Friday 17th November, 2017 held their 10th Annual Joint Consultative Meeting in Addis Ababa as part of their regular dialogue within the framework of the AU-EU partnership. The joint meeting brought together the Ambassadors of EU Member States and AU PSC Members, as well as Senior Officials from the African Union Commission, EU External Action and Commission.
Ambassador Keh Kamara making his presentation (1)
Among the key issues discussed were: Conflict and crisis situations in Africa namely Somalia, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Guinea Bissau, Sahel/ Mali, the Lake Chad Basin and Libya.
Family photo of the two Council
The two Councils selected representatives to make presentations on the fore-mentioned topics. Ambassador Osman Keh Kamara, Sierra Leone’s Permanent Representative to the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa was given the onus to present a paper on the situation in Guinea Bissau.
As usual Ambassador Keh Kamara presented an erudite paper which was commended by his peers.
See below highlights of Ambassador Keh Kamara’s presentation on the situation in Guinea Bissau.
SITUATION IN GUINEA BISSAU
Colleagues of the AU–EU Peace and Security Council,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
I am delighted to speak on behalf of the AU PSC on the situation in Guinea Bissau and how to assist the Government to bring about peace and stability in the country. The current situation in Guinea Bissau is characterized by uncertainty relating to political and institutional crisis.
By all indications, it is obvious that the political impasse in the country has remained unresolved and continues to limit progress with regard to the consolidation of constitutional order. Thus, new strategies of comprehensive, coordinated and mutually supportive initiatives by the two Councils, regional and international institutions may accelerate the Guinea Bissau’s return to constitutional order as well as pave the way to sustainable peace, democracy and socio – economic development.
Since its attainment of independence in 1974, Guinea Bissau has gone through successive wave of violence and political instability. A number of factors have been highlighted as some of the causes for the country’s instability including poverty, illiteracy, lack of access to justice, ineffective social cohesion, corruption, illicit trade, gender – based violence, land disputes and weak state institutions. Addressing these factors requires commitment and concrete actions by national actors as well as sustained support from the two Councils and the international community as a whole.
As you may recall, in 2015 the recent tension and dispute between the President, Prime Minister and the National People’s Assembly (ANP) as well as within the ruling African Independence Party of Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde (PAIGC) have led to the frequent instability and dissolution of four different governments, resulting in political uncertainty and threat to the democratic future of the country.
The mediation efforts by ECOWAS supported by AU, UN, EU and CPLP resulting in the signing of an agreement on 14th October 2016, in Conakry, Guinea (hereafter referred to as the Conakry Agreement) brought about the creation of a road map aimed at ending the political crisis facing the country. The non – compliance with the Conakry Agreement has led to the continuous tension and instability in the country.
In order to address this impasse, the two Councils should collaborate in addressing the challenges posed for implementation of the said Agreement.
As we approach a sensitive electoral period of the Legislative and Presidential elections scheduled for 2018, requisite measures must be taken to create an environment conducive to the holding of free, peaceful and credible elections.
At the regional level, since 2012 the presence of ECOMIB has led to the deterrent of disgruntled soldiers from violent acts against the government. Therefore, ECOMIB’s presence must be guaranteed with financial and other logistical support, until after elections in 2018for the full implementation of the Conakry Agreement.
This annual joint consultative meeting is an opportunity for our two sides to take note, with serious concerns, of the magnitude of the challenges that remain to be addressed in Guinea Bissau, in order to promote lasting peace, security and stability in that sisterly country. Also, our two Councils should emphasis the urgency to overcome the political impasse sooner rather than later, in order to ensure a timely and smooth preparation for the upcoming 2018 legislative election and to agree upon modalities for the establishment of an interim or care taker government in furtherance of the implementation of the Conakry Agreement.
I wish to renew the AU’s gratitude to the EU for the continuous support that has made it possible for ECOWAS presence in Guinea Bissau through ECOMIB. In this respect, I wish to underscore the importance of redoubling efforts in mobilizing additional financial resources to support the continuation of ECOMIB operations in Guinea Bissau, until the necessary capacitation of the Bissau Guinean National Security Forces, having in mind the upcoming elections during the 1st half of 2018.
Co-Chairs, Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen, we are confident that the outcome of our discussions today will take us forward in addressing the current security situation in Guinea Bissau.
I thank you for your kind attention