The Chiefs of Defence Staff and Inspector-Generals of Police of Troop/Police
Contributing Countries to the ECOWAS Mission in Guinea Bissau (ECOMIB) have
called for the strengthening mission’s field operations.
At their meeting held on 28th May 2013 in Bissau, chaired by Gen. Soumaïla
Bakayoko, Côte d’Ivoire’s Chief of Defence Staff and Chairman, Committee of
ECOWAS Chiefs of Defence Staff (CCDS), the regional defence chiefs also
recommended that ECOMIB should be empowered with a Maritime and Air Units to
enhance it operational capability.
The meeting equally recommended the elimination of bureaucratic bottlenecks that
hamper the success of the Mission’s field operations and the amelioration of the
living conditions of troops in the mission, especially their accommodation and
allowances considering the high cost of living in Guinea Bissau.
The defence and police chiefs also called for the operationalization of the
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the ECOWAS Commission and the
troops/police contributing countries in relation to the refund of expenses
incurred by the contributing countries as well as the effective implementation
of the Defence and Security Sector Reform (DSSR) in Guinea Bissau.
In his opening address to the meeting, Guinea Bissau’s Prime Minister Mr. Rui
Duarte Barros expressed the country’s appreciation for the support by ECOWAS
Member States s and called on ECOWAS and the International Community to assist
the country as it prepares for national elections.
Gen. Bakayoko expressed satisfaction at the progress made by the region in
Guinea Bissau and congratulated the ECOMIB Force Commander, Col-Major Barro
Gnibanga and the troops for a job well done, despite the difficult conditions
under which they operate.
The ECOWAS Special Representative in Guinea Bissau, Ambassador Ansumana Ceessay,
commended ECOWAS for its initiatives in Guinea Bissau and noted that the success
of ECOMIB “has gone beyond our wildest imagination.”
The Chief of Staff of the ECOWAS Standby Force, Brigadier-General Hassan Lai
represented the ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security
(PAPS), Mrs. Salamatu Hussaini Suleiman at the meeting which preceded the
official hoisting of the ECOMIB flag at a colourful parade jointly mounted by
military and police contingents of the mission on 27th May, 2013