Tag Archives: Guinea Bissau

EU commends ECOWAS for Guinea-Bissau committement

The decision taken by the Heads of State and of Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to recognise the victory of Umaro Sissoco Embalo at the second round of presidential elections of December 2019 brings an end to a prolonged post-electoral stalemate which was detrimental to the stability of the country.

It is crucial that all actors respect the decision and work within the constitutional framework. As a first step, the President should appoint, at the latest on 22 May, a Prime Minister and a new Government in compliance with the provisions of the Constitution and in conformity with the results of the legislative elections of March 2019.

The EU commends the ECOWAS for its continuous engagement with Guinea-Bissau and remains committed to lend its full support to the consolidation of democracy and stability in Guinea-Bissau.

Half a billion in EU aid to Africa

The European Union adopts new programmes and projects worth a total of ‚ā¨467 million under the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.

The EU continues to deliver on its commitments to assist vulnerable migrants and refugees and address root causes of irregular migration. The new support measures in the Sahel/ Lake Chad region and the Horn of Africa will foster stability, jobs and growth, especially for young people and vulnerable groups.

They complement ongoing bilateral and multilateral efforts, such as through the Joint African Union ‚Äď European Union ‚Äď United Nations Task Force. Today’s additional funds will allow for live-saving assistance to be taken forward, including accelerating resettlements of refugees from Niger as a priority.

“We continue working¬†to save lives, provide safe and dignified returns and¬†legal avenues, and tackle the root causes of migration, by creating jobs and growth. With the UNHCR, we have evacuated¬†1,287 refugees¬†from Libya¬†to Niger, who need to be resettled¬†swiftly now. With the IOM, we helped 22,000 people to return home and provide reintegration assistance. Today’s additional¬†commitments¬†will further consolidate our¬†work towards managing human mobility – in a humane, secure and dignified way¬†together with our partners‚ÄĚ –¬†Federica Mogherini, EU top diplomat said.

“The majority of today’s ‚ā¨467 million assistance package will be dedicated towards improving employment opportunities, especially for young people. But challenges remain, and the Trust Fund’s resources are running out. If we want to continue our live-saving assistance, additional contributions by EU member states’ and other donors will be crucial”-¬† Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development explained.

Increasing stability and supporting the resilience of local populations is one of the pillars of the EU’s integrated approach. In central Mali, activities worth ‚ā¨10 million will address the rapidly degrading security situation, to increase trust between Malian security forces and local populations. Further new activities will promote conflict prevention, foster food security in¬†South Sudan¬†or improve knowledge on malnutrition in¬†Sudan. In Sudan, support will also enable humanitarian and development actors to access hard-to-reach areas. In¬†Cape Verde¬†and¬†Guinea Bissau¬†new measures will help to set up a reliable civil identification registration and document issuance system, to allow the population to benefit from enhanced mobility, document security and better access to rights.

The European Union’s work with the UNHCR has so far allowed for¬†1,287 refugees to be evacuated from Libya to Niger through the¬†Emergency Transit Mechanism, with 108 people having been further resettled to Europe. In parallel, together with the International Organisation for Migration, 22,000 migrants stranded along the routes have been¬†assisted to voluntarily return home, where they receive reintegration support.

Today, the EU mobilises an¬†additional ‚ā¨70 million, of which ‚ā¨10 million will support accelerating resettlements under the UNHCR’s Emergency Transit Mechanism and ‚ā¨60 million ensure that voluntary return and reintegration assistance can be continuously provided by the IOM. In¬†Kenya, an innovative approach to piloting private sector development will promote better economic integration of refugees and supports the implementation of the¬†Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework. Additional ‚ā¨20 million in regional support will help countries in the Horn of Africa, in¬†developing and implementing sustainable and rights-based return and reintegration policies.

EU expects Guinea Bissau to recover “democratic normality”

“Mediation efforts by the¬†Economic Community of Western African States¬†have been essential in the intense negotiations between political stakeholders to contribute to a way out of the long-lasting political crisis” – says the statement of the European External Action Service (EEAS), commenting the appointment of an inclusive government, chaired¬†by consensual Prime Minister Aristide Gomes,¬† which has reopened the National Assembly, and made an announcement of legislative elections for November 2018.¬† Both movements are considered by the EEAS are the major steps towards the resumption of a “normal functioning” of the State institutions in Guinea Bissau and the preparation of the new electoral cycle.

“Now¬†is the time¬†to¬†consolidate political and¬†institutional¬†progress, have a programme and budget for the government presented and discussed in the reopened National Parliamentary Assembly, and¬†start preparations for the¬†legislative elections.”

“We encourage all stakeholders to engage in this new opportunity for the recovery of democratic normality, Rule of Law and institutional stability. With that purpose, we¬†stand ready to¬†collaborate¬†with the authorities¬†of Guinea Bissau¬†for transparent and inclusive¬†legislative elections¬†on 18 November 2018.”

“The EU¬†will maintain its engagement and¬†coordinated action with¬†international partners, especially within the¬†P5 group – the United Nations, the African Union,¬†¬†ECOWAS, the¬†Community of Portuguese Language Countries –¬†to promote stability,¬†democracy¬†and development for the people of¬†Guinea¬†Bissau.”

Guinea Bissau on brink of chaos

“The critical political situation in Guinea Bissau is putting at risk its institutional and democratic order, with serious implications for the stability in the region.”

“The EU has always acted in close coordination with the other members of the P5 group – the United Nations, the African Union, the Economic Community of Western African States (ECOWAS), the Community of Portuguese Language Countries – to promote a peaceful solution. The EU supports the conclusion of the recent ECOWAS Ministerial mission to Bissau, including the need to hold those responsible for impeding the implementation of the Conakry agreement. The EU shares the concern of the region for the deterioration of the human rights situation, especially regarding the political rights.”

“In view of the fragility of the security situation all stakeholders must refrain from any action outside of the constitutional order and rule of law which may lead to further instability. The security forces must maintain their non-intervention stance in the political crisis. The EU stands ready to maintain the support to the regional force ECOMIB, ongoing since 2014, once a decision will be taken on its presence in Bissau.”

Guinea Bissau – news media suspension

 

On 30 June the Guinea Bissau government announced the suspension of activities of RDP-Africa and RPT-Africa in Guinea Bissau.

“The freedom of expression and the access to information by citizens are an essential part of accountable governance. ¬†Particularly in periods of political tension, the unhindered work of media are essential for the constructive debate that strengthens society” – says the statement of the European External Action Service spokesperson on the recent suspension of news media in Guinea Bissau.

“It is at the core of EU values and external action. ¬†It is also in ¬†accordance with the Constitution of Guinea Bissau and its international commitments on Human Rights.”