ECOWAS, UN Security Council Warn Against Army Involvement Calling For Dialogue In The Guinea Bissau Crisis

Guinea BissauEvent Summary:

  • On 13th August 2015, Guinea Bissau’s President Jose Mario Vaz dismissed the government and the country’s Prime Minister Domingos Simoes Pereira following a row between them.
  • African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) which is the ruling party demanded the reinstatement of the premier siting Guinea Bissau’s constitution that terms the Premier as the head of the party that wins the elections.
  • Monday 17th August, supporters of Domingos Pereira marched in protest of the sacking and demanded his reinstatement
  • ECOWAS and UN Security Council has warned on the looming danger if the involved parties fail to come to peaceful consensus with the West African body warning the army to avoid getting involved in the standoff

Analysis:

Guinea Bissau’s President Jose Mario Vaz on 13th August 2015 dismissed the country’s Prime Minister Domingos Simoes Pereira following a row between them. President Vaz said that he had dissolved the government as there was a major crisis with which the premier was undermining the government’s function.

The standoff between the two leaders has been caused by a series of disputes including the appointment of a new army chief in the small country that is a drug smuggling hub linked to Latin America and Europe.

The country’s ruling party, Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) re-nominated Mr. Domingos Pereira as prime minister and demanded that he be reinstated as the constitution clearly stipulates that the Prime Minister is the head of the party.

Following the continued tension and standoff the United Nations Security Council and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) warned Guinea Bissau’s army to avoid getting involved as the constitutional standoff between the two top leaders could only be resolved using dialogue.

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Additionally, on Monday over 1000 supporters of the sacked premier marched into the capital city demanding that he be reinstated as the chanted Pereira’s name.

Guinea Bissau is a country that only returned to civilian rule in 2014 following a series of coups that have characterized the country since its independence from Portugal in 1974. The country has never had any elected leader serve his full term making it very coup-prone. The most recent mutiny was in 2012 that only gave war to the current 16-member government in June2014 two months after the elections.

Summary:

Guinea Bissau is a very volatile and coup-prone in the West Africa, among world’s poorest countries and a drug smuggling hub between Latin America and Europe. The dispute between the two leaders is a huge threat to the country’s stability.

The UN Security Council and ECOWAS have warned the army off from getting involved in the political row seeing as the best solution to solve the dispute is through dialogue and come to a consensus that serves the best interests of the Bissau-Guinean people.

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