News / Africa

ECOWAS, Partners to Meet Over Guinea Bissau Crisis

Troops Fire Weapons in Guinea Bissau CapitalTroops Fire Weapons in Guinea Bissau Capital
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

You May Like

Taiwan President Sounds Warning on Future of China Ties

Current Taiwan government has eased once dangerously tough relations with Beijing since 2008, but next year’s presidential election could change that course More

US Presidential Candidates Woo Hispanic Voters

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton reached out to Hispanic voters this past week in a bid to boost their voter support More

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Documentary is a close-up and personal view of young woman who has become of global symbol of courage and inspiration More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
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.
House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdrawsi
Jim Malone
October 09, 2015 12:32 AM
The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

VOA Blogs