The 581st meeting of the AUPSC on the latest developments in the situation in Guinea-Bissau

By African Union Commission (AUC)

The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 581stmeeting, held on9 March2016, receiveda briefing provided by Commissioner for Peace and Security on the latest developments in the situation in Guinea-Bissau.

Council,recallingthe decision taken by the Assembly of the Union, at its 26thOrdinary session, held in AddisAbaba, on 30 and 31 January 2016, reiterated its serious concern about the institutional crisis in Guinea-Bissau. Council also expressed its concern at the risks that this crisis can have on the still fragile political and security situation, as well as on the efforts towards economic and social recovery of the country. Council noted that the divergences that emerged between the main authorities of the State institutions, in addition to those related tothe interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution concerning the respective powers of the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister,are of a nature to further weaken the process of stabilizing Guinea-Bissau. Inthis regard, Council already noted the difficultieswhich this situation generates forthe functioning of the public administration and economic activities, as well as acertain upsurge of insecurity and social unrestin the city of Bissau.

Council urged the political actors, as well as all the political and military authorities of Guinea-Bissau, to exerciseutmost restraint and a high sense of responsibility, with a view to finding, through dialogue and consultation, the best solutions to theirpolitical differences, in order to preserve the still fragile gains made, thanks to the efforts of peace building and post-conflict reconstruction, with the support of the countries of the region, the AU and the international community, as a whole.

Council stressedthe importance of respecting the Constitution andmarkedits readiness to support, if necessary, a revision of the Constitution, which would clarify the provisions, which are a source of divergent interpretations. Council reiterated the support of the AU to the drafting of a Stability Pact and the process for the organization of a Conference on national reconciliation.

Council welcomed the efforts made by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), particularly through the action of its current Chairman, PresidentMacky Sallof Senegal and the former PresidentOlusegun Obasanjoof Nigeria.Council also welcomed the recent visit of the UN Security Council to Guinea-Bissau.Council, in addition, took note with appreciation, of the initiatives taken by the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (CPLP)in favour of peace and stability in Guinea-Bissau.

Council agreed to immediately undertake a visit to Guinea-Bissau in order to assess the situation and identify the ways and means by which it can contribute to the resolution of the institutional crisis and stabilization of Guinea-Bissau.

Council agreed to remain seized of the situation.