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

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs