PRESS RELEASE

COMMUNIQUE DE PRESSE

Year 2012 Selected
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N°: 106/2012
16 April 2012 [Abuja - Nigeria]

ECOWAS DELEGATION DUE IN BISSAU TO IMPRESS ON IMMEDIATE RETURN TO CONSTITUTIONAL RULE

An ECOWAS delegation led by the President of the ECOWAS Commission, His Excellency Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, is due in Guinea Bissau on Monday, 16th April 2012 to deliver a special message from the Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government to the military junta, reiterating the principled position of ECOWAS rejecting the military take-over of power on 12th April and insisting on the immediate restoration of constitutional order. The delegation comprises, among others, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cote d'Ivoire, Nigeria's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and the Chiefs of Defence Staff of Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea and Nigeria. It will also include representatives of political officers from ECOWAS Member States and officials of the Commission. The delegation will reaffirm ECOWAS' rejection of the coup which has been widely condemned by the international community, including the AU and UN, and impress on the junta to restore constitutional rule immediately. In its strong reaction to the military coup, the ECOWAS Commission particularly expressed disappointment with the timing, coming just days after a joint ECOWAS-AU-UN mission had met with the military hierarchy to warn against any temptation to disrupt the on-going electoral process in the country. The statement warned that the coup makers would be held responsible for the safety and security of political leaders, the population, institutions, and property in the country and reminded them of the Community’s zero tolerance for power obtained by unconstitutional means, as enshrined in the Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance. The ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council, which met at the ministerial level just before the announcement of the coup, had also recommended the dispatch of a military contingent to Guinea Bissau to replace the departing Angolan Mission to ensure the effective implementation of the regional road map for the country's defence and security sector reform programme; secure persons and property during the scheduled 29th April 2012 presidential run-off election and ensure the sanctity of the electoral process. The Council also agreed on the dispatch of a mixed civilian-military delegation to Guinea Bissau under the auspices of the regional mediator, President Alpha Conde of Guinea, to meet with key stakeholders within the political class and the military so as to douse the political tension arising from the inconclusive first round presidential election of 18th March 2012 in the country.


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