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    AU, UN chiefs express concern over protracted political crisis in G/Bissau

    APA-Dakar (Senegal)

    The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, have expressed concern over the protracted political crisis in Guinea-Bissau, despite the multiple opportunities offered to the main political stakeholders to arrive at a consensual arrangement.

    In a joint statement on Guinea Bissau seen by APA on Sunday, they denounced the actions being taken by those who seek to obstruct and prevent a resolution of the crisis.

    They also condemned the recent actions taken by the national authorities to prevent the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cabo Verde (PAIGC) from convening and holding its party congress, including the directive given to national security services to evacuate and shutter the party’s headquarters.

    Mahamat and  Guterres called on all relevant authorities “to strictly adhere to international human rights and humanitarian law, and to immediately remove all restrictions on the right to peaceful assembly, political participation and freedom of speech”.

    The AU chairperson and UN secretary-general “fully endorse the recent decisions on Guinea-Bissau taken by the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on the margins of the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 27 January”.

    They also endorse the decision by the 30th ordinary session of AU leaders taken on 29 January 2018, and welcome the communiqué issued by the ECOWAS ministerial mission that visited Guinea-Bissau on 31 January and 1 February.

    The joint statement added that they support the measures being taken by ECOWAS against “political obstructionists” in the country.

    “They reiterate their endorsement of the centrality of the Conakry Agreement which, inter alia, provides for the appointment of a consensual Prime Minister, and call on the main political stakeholders to faithfully and urgently implement this Agreement, as well as the ECOWAS Roadmap which they have all signed up to”.

    “The Chairperson of the African Union Commission and the Secretary-General of the United Nations reaffirm their commitment to continue to closely follow all political developments, and to support ECOWAS in its efforts to ensure a swift resolution of the protracted crisis in Guinea-Bissau, and stand ready to employ additional measures, should the situation warrant it”, according to this latest joint AU-UN statement on Guinea Bissau.

    It would be rcalled that President José Mario Vaz on Tuesday appointed Artur Silva as the new Prime Minister in Guinea Bissau, APA can report.

    Silva’s appointment comes against the backdrop of a protracted political crisis in the country, and political pundits are already wondering whether this appointment will be able to end the crisis, since the new premier is not the candidate of the ruling PAIGC (African Party for the Independence of Guinea Bissau and Cabo Verde), which wants Augusto Olivais to be named to the post.


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