Guinea-Bissau: ECOWAS sends strong message to rival factions

The regional 16-member bloc ECOWAS on Tuesday vowed to impose targeted sanctions against officials in the West-African Portuguese speaking nation, Guinea-Bissau, as the country failed to implement agreement to resolve a political crisis.

Rival factions reached a deal following talks in Conakry last year, but key aspects of the agreement have not been respected.

“In the absence of the implementation of the Conakry accords within a deadline of 30 days, ECOWAS will move onto sanctions measures,” the bloc said in a statement released on Tuesday.

José Mário Vaz’s decision in August 2015 to sack Prime Minister Domingos Simões Pereira, a popular politician who enjoyed support from Western donors, triggered a period of instability and a succession of several other Prime Ministers. Yet, none of them managed to resolve the political deadlock.

Under the agreement reached in neighboring Guinea, President Vaz was required to appoint a new Prime Minister acceptable to all the various factions who would then name a new, inclusive government.

The United Nations Security Council has recently urged various stakeholders to implement the Conakry Agreement.

The former Portuguese colony has not convened parliament for more than a year and regional talks have failed to resolve deep rivalries within the political elite.

About Geraldine Boechat 1986 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia