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[Africa News\Guinea Bissau]
ECOWAS: "ECOWAS Commission expresses concern over the recent developments in the Republic of Guinea, which were characterised by rising political tension and violence that led to the loss of human lives during the 14 and 15 October 2019 protests."
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Guinea Bissau President Jose Mario Vaz this week fired the country's prime minister, who refuses to step down.

The African Union, ECOWAS and the U.N. are all expressed concern about the polical situation and violence now taking place in Guinea Bissau.

The African Union released the following statement:

"The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, expresses his deep concern regarding the latest developments in the political situation in the Republic of Guinea Bissau, particularly following the Presidential Decree No. 12/2019 of 28 October 2019 dissolving of the Government, and the ensuing reactions.

"The Chairperson reiterates his support for the efforts of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and fully upholds its position expressed in the ECOWAS communique issued on 29 October 2019.

"The Chairperson reiterates the support of the African Union to the relevant decisions of the 55th session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, particularly to maintain the Government emanating from the Legislative elections of 10 March 2019, whose Roadmap focuses on the organization of the Presidential election on 24 November 2019.

"The Chairperson calls upon all the political actors in Guinea Bissau to respect the ECOWAS decision and honor the commitments made in this regard. He encourages them to favor dialogue and consultation in order to find a favorable outcome to the present crisis."

ECOWAS earlier released this statement on the situation in Guinea Bissau:

"The President of the ECOWAS Commission expresses concern over the recent developments in the Republic of Guinea, which were characterised by rising political tension and violence that led to the loss of human lives during the 14 and 15 October 2019 protests.

"The President of the ECOWAS Commission calls on all parties concerned to exercise restraint. He encourages measures to prevent the escalation of tension and violence which can affect the peace and stability of the Republic of Guinea and the sub-region.

"The President of the ECOWAS Commission reaffirms the need for a constructive dialogue between the Government, the opposition and civil society in order to achieve a lasting, consensual and peaceful solution to the current situation.

"The President of the ECOWAS Commission expresses his solidarity with the Republic of Guinea, ECOWAS Member State, and reiterates his commitment to support the Government, the Opposition Parties and other national stakeholders in a dialogue to seek solutions to preserve peace and stability and strengthen democracy in the Republic of Guinea. Against this backdrop, he undertakes to work in coordination with the African Union and other partners."

A spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres released the following:

"The Secretary-General is following with serious concern the unfolding developments in Guinea-Bissau following the decrees issued on 28 and 29 October by President José Mario Vaz dismissing the Government and appointing a new Prime Minister. He calls on all political stakeholders to abide by the decisions taken by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) regarding the governance arrangements in Guinea-Bissau until the presidential election on 24 November and reiterated in the ECOWAS communiqué of 29 October.

"The Secretary-General looks forward to the holding of a peaceful, credible and transparent presidential election on 24 November and urges all stakeholders to exercise their civic duty.

"The Secretary-General was also saddened to learn of the death of one person reportedly following a demonstration on 26 October. He looks forward to the prompt conclusion of the independent inquiry announced by the Ministry of Interior into the circumstances and consequences of the demonstration."

On Tuesday, the  political turmoil in Guinea Bissau was made worse when President Jose Mario Vaz fired the country's Prime Minister Aristide Gomes. Vaz then replaced him with Faustino Fudut Imbali, who served from 2000-2003 as prime minister representing the Manifest Party of the People. Vaz was elected in 2014, but soon fell out with members of his PAIGC Party (African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde) for firing the then prime minister in 2015. Prime Minister Gomes has refused to step down saying Vaz's presidential term ended in June.

The bitter power struggle in Guinea Bissau is occurring as the November 24 election nears.

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