News / Africa

ECOWAS, AU to Meet Over Guinea Bissau

Guinea-Bissau's army chief of staff Antonio Indjai (C) and head of the national electoral commission Desejado Lima da Costa (R) arrive at a news conference at military headquarters in the capital Bissau, March 19, 2012.Guinea-Bissau's army chief of staff Antonio Indjai (C) and head of the national electoral commission Desejado Lima da Costa (R) arrive at a news conference at military headquarters in the capital Bissau, March 19, 2012.
x
Guinea-Bissau's army chief of staff Antonio Indjai (C) and head of the national electoral commission Desejado Lima da Costa (R) arrive at a news conference at military headquarters in the capital Bissau, March 19, 2012.
Guinea-Bissau's army chief of staff Antonio Indjai (C) and head of the national electoral commission Desejado Lima da Costa (R) arrive at a news conference at military headquarters in the capital Bissau, March 19, 2012.
Peter Clottey
Officials of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) plan to meet representatives of the African Union’s Peace and Security Council Friday to discuss efforts to restore constitutional order in Guinea Bissau.

The conference will be held at the headquarters of the African Union in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.

ECOWAS political director Abdel-Fatau Musah says the meeting will also focus on building consensus among the international partners to deal with the political and security situation in the West African nation.

“We will see how we can find some kind of international consensus to accompany the people of Guinea Bissau, as they try to transit this very difficult period to restore constitutional order in the country,” said Musah.

Guinea Bissau has suffered from increasing political instability and has become a trans-shipment point for South American cocaine headed to markets in Europe.

But Musah says the country is not fully to blame for the drug problem.

“Guinea Bissau simply lacks the equipment; they lack the capacity to police their territory to prevent the drug trade,” Musah said. “So, we say that instead of making Guinea Bissau a victim, let’s put in the resources and help them to check these illegal activities in the country.” 

Analysts also say there have been sharp differences between international partners about how to resolve the crisis following last year’s April 12th military coup.

The coup, some analysts say, forced donors to cut assistance to the West African country, which is reliant on international aid.

“It is a very difficult situation there in Guinea Bissau now, and this meeting is to see whether we can nudge each other as international stakeholders and partners to make sure we get Guinea Bissau out of its current mess,” said Musah.

“Since the coup d’état, ECOWAS has been the only international organization that has maintained relations with Guinea Bissau and trying to push it forward,” Musah said. “And I think several international partners have seen that Guinea Bissau is on the right path, because parliament has been reinstituted, and they are looking at the transitional timetable…to elect a new president.”

Guinea Bissau was originally scheduled to hold presidential elections next month. But regional experts say the country is not yet prepared to organize a peaceful and credible vote.

“There is a parliamentary committee that is looking at this transitional roadmap with the view of fixing a more realistic date for the election. And almost all [members] of the international community are quite hopeful that the parliament can come up with a workable time table…in order to restore constitutional order,” said Musah.

Last year, ECOWAS, the African Union, the United Nations, the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP) and the European Union, agreed to come up with a joint plan to address the challenges in Guinea Bissau.
Clottey interview with Abdel-Fatau Musah, ECOWAS political director
Clottey interview with Abdel-Fatau Musah, ECOWAS political directori
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid