News / Africa

ECOWAS, Partners to Meet Over Guinea Bissau Crisis

Troops Fire Weapons in Guinea Bissau CapitalTroops Fire Weapons in Guinea Bissau Capital
x
Troops Fire Weapons in Guinea Bissau Capital
Troops Fire Weapons in Guinea Bissau Capital
Peter Clottey
Officials of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and representatives from other international organizations are to meet this week to discuss ways to deal with political instability and drug trafficking in Guinea Bissau.

ECOWAS political director Abdel-Fatau Musah says he is hopeful the meeting will be able to find a solution to the crisis in the West African nation.

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

“We shall come up with a common report on our findings on this mission, which we will present to our principals,” Musah said. “Once we have achieved that, we [will] know that there is a roadmap that the entire international community to adhere to.

“ECOWAS is confident that this mission will provide a unique platform for everybody to come together listen to the people, and then come up with a single program of action aimed at bringing Guinea Bissau back from the brink and Guinea Bissau to be a responsible member of the community,” he said.

This is the first time that the ECOWAS, the African Union, the United Nations, the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP) and the European Union, have agreed to come up with a joint plan to address the challenges in Guinea Bissau.

“This is a rare opportunity for all these institutions to be together on the ground, just to find out what has actually been going on in that country,” said Musah, adding that he  believed the meeting would address institutional and constitutional reform as well as the rampant drug trafficking in Guinea Bissau.

He also said the West African nation’s politicians often use the military to settle personal scores with opponents, which he says, leads to increased political instability.  

Analysts say that since the latest government coup in April, there has not been a consensus on how best to help return Guinea Bissau to stability and democracy.

The analysts contend that ECOWAS and the CPLP disagree on the way forward to help restore constitutional order in the West African nation.

ECOWAS and its international partners agreed on the sidelines of the recent U.N. General Assembly to send a joint mission to Guinea Bissau to assess the security situation on the ground.

“This is to try to harmonize the position of these groups in the effort to return that country to constitutional rule,” said Musah. “We will be meeting the military, the transitional authority, civil society organizations, and the main political parties.”

Musah said “Guinea Bissau has proven to be about the weakest link as far as peace and security is concerned in the region.”

“You have a very disunited and unorganized political class that often uses the military to settle scores. You’ve got the military that has got the penchant to intervene in the political process in the country and you’ve got the issues of drug trafficking. We actually need to bring this to an end,” he concluded.
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

Video Analysts: Beijing Parade a 'Bazaar' of Stolen Technology

Show commemorating victory over Japan in World War II involved long, medium and short range missiles, a range of tanks and 200 fighter aircraft More

Bernie Sanders Surge Reflects US Shift on Socialism

Although most analysts say it is unlikely he will get the Democratic nomination, Sanders' campaign opens up questions and issues that are otherwise marginalized More

Video On IS Frontline, Kurdish Fighters Ready for Offensive

Peshmerga soldiers say although they need more heavy artillery, they are poised to take the fight to the Islamic State extremists on their turf More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Patrick from: Washington DC
December 19, 2012 12:00 AM
I think the third paragraph should read "South American cocaine..." But if it is indeed South African cocaine, by all means that should feature as its own news story.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outragei
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 04, 2015 11:36 AM
The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outrage

The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Russians Observe 11th Anniversary of Beslan School Attack

This week, Russians have been observing the 11th anniversary of the attack by Islamic militants on a school in Russia's North Caucasus region that killed more than 330 hostages, including 186 children. The three-day siege and massacre that started on September 1, 2004 took place in Beslan, a town in the republic of North Ossetia, and is one of the bloodiest terrorist acts ever in Russia. VOA's Mike Richman reports.
Video

Video Native Americans Debate: Father Serra, Saint or Sinner?

Pope Francis will canonize an 18th century missionary to Spanish California during a papal visit to the United States this month.  But some Native Americans have criticized the elevation to sainthood of the missionary priest, Junipero Serra. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video China Announces Troop Cuts at WWII Parade

Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday announced plans to cut the world’s largest military force by 300,000 troops. The announcement was made during a massive military parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War II. The event was shunned by most Western leaders and for some is raising fresh concerns about China’s military ambitions. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
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.

VOA Blogs