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Communiqué: 351st meeting on the situation in Guinea Bissau

By African Union Commission (AUC)
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ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, January 18, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 351st meeting held on 16 January 2013, adopted the following decision on the situation in Guinea Bissau:


Takes note of the progress report of the Chairperson of the Commission PSC/PR/2(CCCLI), and the briefing provided by the Commissioner for Peace and Security, the statement made by the AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, as well asthe statements made by the Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the ECOWAS Special Representative for Guinea-Bissau, the United Nations, Mozambique as Chair of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP) and the European Union (EU);

Recalls its previous communiqués on the situation in Guinea Bissau andexpresses its appreciation for the sustained efforts of ECOWAS and the leaders of the region with a view to expediting the resolution of the crisis that emanated from the coup d'Etat of 12 April 2012. Council noteswith satisfaction the positive contribution of the ECOWAS Mission in Guinea-Bissau (ECOMIB) to the stabilization of the situation and the promotion of confidence, as well as the financial assistance provided in support of security sector reform (SSR) and other activities in the country;

Welcomes the progress made bythe parties of Guinea Bissau, especially the agreement reached by political parties to re-launch the functioning of the Parliament, extend the mandate of members of Parliament till the end of the Transition and to allocate vacant positions in Parliament to the major political party which resumed its activities in Parliament, towards promoting consensus and inclusiveness, in order to ensure a successful transition. Council commends the pro-activeness of a number of local stakeholders, including from the civil society, to promote consensus on key issues, to enable Guinea-Bissau move forward;

Stressesthe need for the international community to effectively reengage in Guinea-Bissau in support of the efforts aimed at addressing both the short and medium/long term challenges facing Guinea-Bissau, as they pertain to elections and the conclusion of the transition, SSR, fight against impunity and drug trafficking, promotion of national reconciliation, good governance and democracy. Council further stressesthe need to re-energize the economy of Guinea Bissau and to develop a programme for resource mobilization, particularly tapping from the country's natural resources, in support of the reforms to be carried out. Councilalso emphasizes the imperative of the international community to display the unity of purpose that the situation so require, in order to facilitate andsupport more effectively, the efforts of the Guinea-Bissau stakeholders;

Welcomesthe successful undertaking, from 16 to 21 December 2012, under AU Commission's leadership, of a joint ECOWAS/AU/CPLP/EU/UN assessment mission to Guinea-Bissau. Council underlinesthat this mission constituted a positive and encouraging step towards a common international approach to the situation in Guinea Bissau and the challenges facing the country. Council encourages the five organizations concerned to speedily finalize the report of the joint assessment mission, to facilitate decision making by the respective relevant decision-making organs. In this respect, Council decides to meet again in February 2013, to consider the report of the joint assessment mission;

Takes note of the request of ECOWAS for the lifting of the suspension of Guinea-Bissau from participation in the activities of the AU organs. In this respect, Council agrees to consider the request in light of progress to be achieved in the country;

Commends ECOWAS for having elaborated a Plan of Action for combatting drug trafficking and money laundering in West Africa. In this respect, Council appealsto the international community to provide necessary support for the implementation of the Plan;

Requeststhe Commission, in collaboration with relevant partners, to look into the possibility of undertaking a comprehensive study on the issue of drug trafficking and money laundering in Guinea-Bissau, the region and the continent, focusing particularly on the scale, nature and impact of the growing threat of drug trafficking and its implications for Africa's development,with a view to facilitating the formulation and implementation of a strategy that would address this scourge in all its dimensions;

Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.