GUINÉ-BISSAU   

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26 december 2017 

Onderstaand bericht stond gisteren in The Guardian ( https://guardian.ng ):

Soldiers arrested for trying to kill army chief

Six soldiers were arrested in mid-December for an attempt on the life of Guinea-Bissau’s army chief, AFP learned Monday from a military court source.

Two heads of the armed forces were murdered in 2004 and 2009 in coup-prone Guinea Bissau, where the army is often implicated in political crises that regularly rock the country.

The six detained men targeted General Biague Na Ntam, several sources told AFP, without elaborating on the circumstances of the assassination attempt.


“Their case has been heard and sent up to the military tribunal,” said General Daba Na Walna, head of the country’s high military court.

They were arrested on December 14 and 15, but this was only made public Monday. The six men are currently being held at a prison located at an airbase.

Two majors, a captain and a lieutenant were based at barracks 150 kilometres east of the capital, Bissau, the military source and a human rights organisation confirmed.

“We gave the detained men buckets to wash in, toiletries,” said Augusto Mario da Silva, President of Guinea Bissau’s Human Rights League, adding that better conditions had been demanded for the soldiers, as well as the guarantee of defence lawyers.

The tiny west African state has been in the grip of a power struggle since August 2015, when President Jose Mario Vaz sacked then prime minister Domingos Simoes Pereira.

Guinea-Bissau has been plagued by military coups and instability since its independence from Portugal in 1974, with President Joao Bernardo Vieira assassinated in 2009 alongside General Tagme Na Waie.


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17 december 2017

van http://www.rfi.fr/afrique:

 

La crise bissau-guinéenne est à nouveau sur la table des chefs d’Etat de la Cédéao à Abuja, ce samedi 16 décembre 2017. Après le passage, au début du mois, de la mission d’évaluation de l’organisation, le constat dressé pointe l'échec de la médiation. Le médiateur Alpha Condé rencontre en marge du sommet les acteurs politiques bissau-guinéens pour tirer les conclusions et proposer de nouvelles solutions. La Cédéao n’écarte pas des sanctions collectives ou individuelles contre tous ceux qui entravent l’application de l’accord de sortie de crise signé à Conakry en octobre 2016.

Jusqu’ici, les solutions de sortie de crise proposées par le médiateur Alpha Condé, n’ont apporté aucun changement. Le président José Mario Vaz estime que les solutions endogènes, notamment le dialogue entre les acteurs politiques bissau-guinéens, seraient la meilleure voie : « Malgré tout ce que nous aurions à nous dire hors de notre pays, nous devons savoir que la solution ne viendra que de nous-mêmes. Nous devons donc privilégier le dialogue entre frères bissau-guinéens. »

Mais la Communauté économique des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (Cédéao) ne se décourage pas pour autant. Mieux, elle promet de s’impliquer davantage à accompagner les Bissau-Guinéens vers la recherche d’une solution définitive de cette crise. Pour Marcel Alain da Souza, président de la Commission de la Cédéao, « nous ne devons pas nous décourager. La Cédéao considère la Guinée-Bissau comme un Etat membre, la solidarité doit être de mise. Nous allons nous attacher à chercher des solutions, c’est très difficile. Mais nous devons y parvenir. »

Un mini-sommet est d’ailleurs prévu en marge du sommet des chefs d’Etat. Le président guinéen, Alpha Condé, médiateur de la crise, sera épaulé cette fois par son homologue togolais, Faure Gnassingbé. Les deux chefs d’Etat doivent revoir toute la situation à la lumière du rapport présenté par la commission d’évaluation de la Cédéao qui avait visité Bissau début décembre.

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30 oktober 2017


Op 25 oktober heeft Unicef een rapport gepubliceerd over de enorme demografische groei van het aantal kinderen in Afrika in de komende jaren. Het rapport beschrijft helder de kansen en bedreigingen van die ontwikkeling en geeft aan hoe dringend noodzakelijk het is in gezondheid en onderwijs van dat steeds grotere wordende aantal kinderen van Afrika te investeren, zo niet, dan wacht een grimmig scenario van verschrikkelijke armoede, vooral in Oost-, Midden-, en West-Afrika:

AFRICA’S CHILDREN STAND AT A PIVOTAL MOMENT IN THEIR CONTINENT’S DEMOGRAPHIC TRANSITION

                        
Nowhere in the world are children more central to a continent’s future than in Africa, where they account for almost half (47 per cent) of all inhabitants. The expansion occurring in recent decades has been extraordinary. In 1950, Africa’s child population stood at 110 million and represented just above 10 per cent of the world’s child population. It has grown more than fivefold since, and currently stands at an estimated 580 million: four times larger than Europe’s child population, and accounting for about 25 per cent of the world’s children.

The large increase in Africa’s child population mirrors the rise in the continent’s overall population, set to more than double between now and mid-century, adding a further 1.3 billion people and reaching 2.5 billion by 2050. These projections are based on median variants of fertility projected by the UN Population Division in its 2017 edition of World Population Prospects. They take into account the prospect of declining fertility rates in Africa in the coming years, as well as continuing fertility trends in other regions. The sheer number of Africa’s children and its growing share of the world’s child population means that dividends for the continent will be dividends for the world and for humanity, including the most disadvantaged and vulnerable.

 

DEMOGRAPHIC TRANSITIONS OF THIS MAGNITUDE PRESENT BOTH IMMENSE OPPORTUNITIES AND IMMENSE CHALLENGES

The opportunity for Africa lies in the vast potential of its current and future generations of children and youth. Today, two thirds of African Union (AU) Member States are still in the predividend phase of demographic transition, characterized by high fertility rates and high dependency ratios. It is imperative to recognize that today’s rapidly increasing child and youth populations will soon constitute Africa’s working age population. Investing in their health, protection and education holds the promise for reaping a demographic dividend in the 21st century that could lift hundreds of millions out of extreme poverty and contribute to enhanced prosperity, stability and peace on the continent.

However, failure to prioritize these investments will lead to a far bleaker scenario, because the opportunity to reap a demographic dividend is time-sensitive and influenced by policies. With more than half of African countries unlikely to reach their demographic window of opportunity – the period when a country’s population structure is the most favourable for accelerated economic growth – until 2030 or beyond, it becomes all the more urgent to adequately prepare so that when the window of opportunity opens, African nations can best harness and capitalize on the dividend.

Numerous studies have shown the transformative power of investment in essential services for children and youth, their societies and economies. The modelling exercise of Africa’s demographic dividend potential presented in this report shows that the continent’s per capita income could quadruple by 2050 if such investments in human capital were complemented by policies that foster job creation, empower and protect women and girls, and expand access to culturally sensitive reproductive health education and services.

The challenge lies in making these investments. Closing the gaps that presently exist between minimum international standards and actual health care and education services is a critical first step toward building the human capital required for a demographic dividend. This must become a key priority, especially for those countries in Central, Eastern and Western Africa where the gaps are widest.

lees het hele rapport op  http://www.unicef.org

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25 augustus 2017


Op 4 juni j.l. - zie bij die dag op deze pagina - kreeg president José Mário Vaz nog drie maanden de tijd van de CEDEAO om de crisis in het land op te lossen. Die termijn loopt volgende  week af. Er is echter nog niets gebeurd dat een aanwijzing voor het einde van de crisis zou kunnen betekenen. De Veiligheidsraad van de Verenigde Naties beraadde zich eergisteren op de situatie in het land waarvan het verslag hier te lezen is: 

Security Council  Distr.: General 23 August 2017

 
Original: English
 
17-13728 (E)    230817 *1713728*  
 
Report of the Secretary-General on the progress made with regard to the stabilization and restoration of constitutional order in Guinea-Bissau 
 
 
I. Introduction
 
 
1. The present report, submitted pursuant to paragraph 22 of Security Council resolution 2343 (2017), is my third report on the progress made by Guinea-Bissau with regard to the stabilization and restoration of constitutional order in the country. It provides an update on relevant developments since my previous report, of  16 August 2016 (S/2016/720), and includes recommendations on the continuation of the sanctions regime, pursuant to Council resolution 2343 (2017) and in line with paragraph 12 of resolution 2048 (2012).  2. In fulfilment of the above request from the Security Council, the Department of Political Affairs undertook an assessment, in cooperation with the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS). During the same period, the Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 2048 (2012) concerning Guinea-Bissau visited Bissau from 13 to 15 June 2017. The Secretary of the Committee participated in the Chair’s meetings with key stakeholders.  
 
 
II. Key findings
 
 
3. Since my previous report, the political impasse in Guinea-Bissau has remained unresolved and continues to limit progress with regard to the consolidation of constitutional order. Despite the deployment of considerable mediation and facilitation efforts by international partners, in particular the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the United Nations, national stakeholders have so far failed to agree on a consensual way forward. The impasse continues to discourage international donors from committing financial resources to the country. While constitutional order is not directly threatened so far, the lack of progress in implementing the Conakry Agreement on the Implementation of the Economic Community of West African States Roadmap for the Resolution of the Political Crisis in Guinea Bissau and the chronic institutional crisis continue to give rise to serious concern.  4. The recommendations on the continuation of United Nations sanctions contained in my previous report remain valid and relevant in the light of the unresolved political situation in Guinea-Bissau. The recommendations include the maintenance of the present sanctions regime to signal to the entire population that measures are applicable to all spoilers, regardless of their political or institutional affiliation, and that the Council adjusts the measures and designations as needed; the establishment of a panel of experts to support the Committee’s work; the establishment of clear benchmarks for lifting sanctions; and a review of the situation with respect to the designated individuals to determine if they continue to meet the listing criteria. 5. There is still broad consensus that sanctions have played a positive role and acted as a deterrent to the direct involvement of the security and defence forces in political affairs. However, some local interlocutors support the idea that the sanctions currently imposed on individuals should be reviewed on account of their commendable behaviour since 2012, and that those responsible for the current political impasse should instead be designated for targeted measures.  6. The military continues to respect the constitutional order and maintains a politically neutral role. However, the risk of an intervention by the military may increase, in particular if the political deadlock persists, reforms of relevant sectors are not implemented, the civilians’ protests become violent, the security situation deteriorates, and/or the budgetary situation prevents the payment of salaries to soldiers and officials. 
 
 
III. Sanctions in Guinea-Bissau
 
 
7. There have been no changes to the sanctions regime established by the Security Council pursuant to resolution 2048 (2012) since my previous report. The travel ban measure remains in place and the Committee’s sanctions list contains the names of 11 individuals, all members of the “Military Command” responsible for the coup d’état of 12 April 2012. Five were designated by the Security Council on 18 May 2012 (Ibraima Camará, António Injai, Estêvão Na Mena, Daba Naualna and Mamadu Ture) and six were subsequently designated by the Committee on 18 July 2012 (Sanha Clussé, Cranha Danfa, Idrissa Djaló, Tchipa Na Bidon, Tcham Na Man and Júlio Nhate).  8. During the past 12 months, the 11 sanctioned individuals remained part of the armed forces of Guinea-Bissau and continued to perform the same functions. The authorities of Guinea-Bissau confirmed officially that the Chief of General Staff of the Navy, Rear Admiral Sanha Clussé, died on 24 April 2016. It should be noted that his name remains on the sanctions list.  9. Since August 2016, two designated individuals have travelled outside GuineaBissau,1 but in both cases they were repatriated to Guinea-Bissau. This is a positive sign that Member States are vigilant in the enforcement of United Nations sanctions. The assessment also revealed that some misunderstanding remains with regard to the scope of the travel ban restriction. It is important to note that travel, justified on the grounds of humanitarian need, may be approved on a case-by-case basis by the Committee (see resolution 2048 (2012), para. 5). Since my previous report, the Committee has not received any requests for any travel ban exemptions.  10. However, as noted in my previous reports, the impact of sanctions in GuineaBissau has surpassed the travel ban restrictions imposed by resolution 2048 (2012). All interlocutors agreed that sanctions had had a positive effect in deterring the direct involvement of the armed forces in the political situation. At the same time, there were numerous calls for the possible application of sanctions to any individuals responsible for fomenting political instability within the country, including civilians, in particular politicians.
__________________  1 General Ibraima Camará (GBi.001) and General Mamadu Ture (GBi.011), on 10 February 2017 and 3 April 2017, respectively, travelled from Bissau to the Léopold Sédar Senghor international airport in Dakar but they were sent back by the Senegalese authorities. 
 
 
IV. Progress made with regard to the stabilization and restoration of constitutional order in Guinea-Bissau
 
 
11. The country is still facing considerable political and institutional uncertainty. The impasse is illustrated by the failure of the National Assembly to hold plenary sessions since January 2016 and by the failure of four consecutive Governments to adopt their programme of work and the national budget. Polarization among the major political stakeholders has further contributed to heightened political and social tensions and repeatedly led to speculations about an increased likelihood of political interference by the military. 12. On 10 September 2016, a high-level delegation from ECOWAS, led by the President of Guinea, Alpha Condé, in his capacity as ECOWAS Mediator for GuineaBissau, visited Bissau. The delegation held consultations with national political stakeholders, including the President, José Mário Vaz, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Cipriano Cassamá, the Prime Minister, Baciro Djá, representatives of the five parties with parliamentary seats, and the group of 15 parliamentarians (the “Group of 15”) who had been expelled from the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cabo Verde (PAIGC). The national stakeholders agreed to a six-point road map to end the political crisis, which would include the holding of an inclusive national round-table dialogue, the formation of an inclusive government to implement key reforms before the legislative elections in 2018, the establishment of an ECOWAS monitoring and follow-up mechanism, the implementation of reforms in the defence and security sectors, and the progressive demobilization of the ECOWAS Mission in Guinea-Bissau (ECOMIB) within six months of the formation of a national contingent to take over its mandate of protecting State institutions.  13. From 10 to 14 October, the ECOWAS Mediator convened consultations with national stakeholders in Conakry, which focused on the implementation of the first two elements of the road map: the appointment of a consensual Prime Minister and an inclusive government and the holding of an inclusive national dialogue on critical constitutional reforms. On 14 October, the political stakeholders signed the Conakry Agreement, which provided for the appointment of a consensual Prime Minister who would have the confidence of the President; the formation of an inclusive government to implement a programme of reforms stemming from a national round-table dialogue, to be held within 30 days of the appointment of the Prime Minister; the development and adoption of a stability pact, which would include provisions on constitutional reform aimed at establishing stable relations between the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary, electoral reforms for the organization of legislative and local elections in 2018, a new political party law including provisions on public funding of political parties, defence, security and justice sector reform and the launch of the implementation of a development programme; and the unconditional reintegration of the Group of 15 expelled from PAIGC into the party, in accordance with the party’s rules. The Agreement also included the provision of support by ECOWAS, the African Union, the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries, the United Nations and the European Union for the implementation of the stability pact and the establishment of an ECOWAS monitoring and evaluation framework to ensure the stability of the entire process.  14. Since then, however, differences among political stakeholders with regard to the appointment of the Prime Minister have persisted. On 15 November, the President dismissed the Government of the Prime Minister, Mr. Djá, on the basis that it had been unable to obtain the approval of the National Assembly for its programme of work and the national budget. On 18 November, he appointed Umaro Sissoco Embaló as Prime Minister. Mr. Embaló, who was one of three candidates put forward by the President for the parliamentary political parties to choose from during the Conakry talks in mid-October 2016, was not the candidate selected by the ruling PAIGC, a key precondition for resolving the impasse. The reactions of national stakeholders to the appointment were in accordance with the positions that they had taken following the signing of the Conakry Agreement. PAIGC contended that the President had repudiated the Agreement through the appointment, while the Party for Social Renewal (PRS) announced that it agreed with the appointment. On 12 December, the President appointed, by decree, the members of the Government. Of the five parties represented in the National Assembly, PRS alone joined the new Government.  15. In view of the failure of the President to appoint a consensual Prime Minister, in a final communiqué issued following its fiftieth ordinary session on  17 December, the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government urged the President to comply with the provisions of the Agreement and called upon all parties to strictly respect and comply with the tenets of the Agreement. The Authority also directed the ECOWAS Commission to withdraw ECOMIB by the end of its current mandate on 30 June 2017, beginning in April 2017.  16. On 22 February, the Permanent Commission of the National Assembly once more rejected, by a majority vote of its PAIGC members, the scheduling of an ordinary session on the new Government’s programme of work. In its record of proceedings issued immediately after the meeting, the Permanent Commission rejected the scheduling of the debate on the programme on the grounds that it had been submitted by a Government that was not in compliance with the Conakry Agreement.  17. The political tension in the capital trickled down to the regions, with several stand-offs between supporters of the Group of 15 and the mainstream PAIGC. On  5 March, the leader of PAIGC and a former Prime Minister, Domingos Simões Pereira, returned to Bissau, after spending more than one month outside the country, amid heavy police presence. Thousands of supporters, as well as members of the Forum of Democratic Parties for Political Dialogue, rallied at the airport to welcome him, following persistent allegations that he could be arrested upon his arrival. The leader of PAIGC departed safely from the airport, escorted by elements of ECOMIB. 18. The number of demonstrations and counterdemonstrations mobilized by political stakeholders also increased. On 9 March, a movement called “The Citizen” reportedly gathered from 2,000 to 3,000 people in front of the National Assembly, including some members of Government, PRS and the Group of 15. The demonstrators called for the resumption of the National Assembly’s activities and shouted slogans in support of the President and the Government. During a meeting with UNIOGBIS, also on 9 March, the Speaker of the National Assembly thanked UNIOGBIS and ECOMIB for their assistance which, according to him, had prevented the demonstrators from ransacking the National Assembly premises and his residence. On 11 March, the Movement of Conscious and Nonconformist Citizens reportedly gathered from 2,500 to 3,000 participants, who marched from the national airport to the city centre, shouting slogans calling for the resignation of the President. Although PAIGC did not express public support for the march, many supporters and parliamentarians from the party participated. On 27 May, a demonstration organized by the Movement of Conscious and Nonconformist Citizens and other civil society organizations resulted in confrontations between law enforcement personnel and demonstrators, and 18 people, including demonstrators and law enforcement personnel, were hospitalized.  19. On 23 April, following consultations in Conakry with the President of Guinea in his capacity as ECOWAS Mediator, an ECOWAS ministerial assessment and follow-up mission to the Conakry Agreement arrived in Bissau, with logistics support from UNIOGBIS, for talks with national and international stakeholders. The parties once more reaffirmed their commitment to implementing the Conakry Agreement, while national political and civil society stakeholders deplored the announced withdrawal of ECOMIB, fearing it could have a detrimental impact on security and stability in the country. In the absence of implementation of any aspects of the Agreement, the ECOWAS ministerial mission issued a final communiqué, prior to departing from Bissau on 24 April, recommending the imposition of relevant sanctions by all ECOWAS member States and the international community on individuals, groups of individuals and entities that obstruct the smooth implementation of the Conakry Agreement, together with their close collaborators, in the event of non-compliance with or a lack of concrete steps towards implementing the Agreement within 30 days.  20. On 30 May, a newly established group of women’s organizations, the Women’s Mediation Committee, issued a press release and appealed to political parties to engage in constructive dialogue for conflict resolution and requested that the international community remain vigilant and activate relevant mechanisms to avoid unintended consequences. The Women’s Mediation Committee met with key political leaders, including the President, the Speaker, the leaders of PAIGC and PRS and the Group of 15. 21. Following its fifty-first ordinary session held on 4 June in Monrovia the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government took note of the assessment made by the ministerial mission following its visit to Bissau in April and of the readiness of all stakeholders to hold direct talks towards the implementation of the Conakry Agreement. The Heads of State and Government urged all stakeholders to strictly respect and comply with the tenets of the Agreement. They also extended the mandate of ECOMIB for three months to allow for the full implementation of the Agreement by the political stakeholders and affirmed their determination to institute, if needed, targeted sanctions against all those who obstruct the smooth implementation of the Agreement.  22. From 22 to 24 June, PAIGC held its first-ever national convention in Bissau, gathering some 600 delegates from all over the country. In his opening remarks, the leader of PAIGC stated that the President was putting the country at risk by keeping an unconstitutional Government. The convention ended with the adoption of several recommendations, including on the need for constitutional reform to clarify the balance of power among the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary, while keeping the semi-presidential system; the need to reform the legislation on elections and political parties; the need to carry out internal reforms to increase the representation of women and young people within the party; and the need to minimize the recurrence of internal conflicts. The convention also recommended that the president of PAIGC should have a say in the selection of the party’s candidates for the presidential and legislative elections and reiterated the call from the Forum of Democratic Parties for Political Dialogue for the President to appoint Augusto Olivais as the consensual Prime Minister within the framework of the Conakry Agreement. The convention took place amid tension involving a faction of the Group of 15, which accused the leadership of PAIGC of excluding all supporters of the Group of 15. The police prevented some young sympathizers of the Group of 15 from disrupting the gathering on the first day of the convention. The former Prime Minister, Mr. Djá, who held the position of third Vice-President of PAIGC prior to the political crisis, participated in the event.  23. On 26 June, the President met with religious leaders on the occasion of the end of Ramadan. In his statement, he called for unity among the people of GuineaBissau and stressed that national stakeholders should do their best to overcome their country’s challenges within the next 90 days. He specifically called upon PAIGC, PRS and the Group of 15 to come to an agreement and facilitate the adoption of the Government’s programme of work and the national budget, adding that, should national actors fail to reach an agreement, he would return the power to the people of Guinea-Bissau by convening early elections. The next day, the leader of PAIGC reiterated the need to respect and begin the implementation of the Conakry Agreement, deploring the fact that the President had taken too long to consider the possibility of calling early elections as a way out of the impasse. The leader of the United People’s Assembly-Democratic Party of Guinea-Bissau, Nuno Nabiam, who was the runner-up in the 2014 presidential election, called for early legislative and presidential elections. Furthermore, he suggested the formation of a government of national unity to prepare for the polls and conduct a prior review of the Constitution and the electoral law. 24. On 30 June, the Minister of Social Communication of Guinea-Bissau announced the suspension of the activities of three Portuguese media outlets in Guinea-Bissau, namely Radio Televisão de Portugal, Radio Difusão de Portugal and Lusa Agency, arguing that the expiration of the cooperation agreement between Lisbon and Bissau had expired. The Lusa Agency was later removed from the list of suspended media outlets. The decision was widely condemned both nationally and internationally, including by the Government of Portugal and the European Union, prompting the Minister to clarify on 1 July that the issue was technical rather than political. 25. On 7 July, the President met separately with the Speaker of the National Assembly and the President of the Supreme Court. In addition, on 10 July, he held bilateral meetings with the leaders of PAIGC, PRS and the Group of 15. He was joined in all these meetings by the coordinator of the Women’s Mediation Committee, Francisca Vaz. The meetings reportedly addressed the scenario of a dissolution of the National Assembly, the mandate of the electoral commission, the appointment of a consensual Prime Minister, prospects for the approval of the government programme of a Prime Minister supported by PAIGC, the reintegration of the Group of 15 into PAIGC and the possible composition of a broad-based government. 26. In spite of the ongoing political impasse and recurring protest movements, economic growth is expected to continue in 2017. However, as stated in my two previous reports (S/2015/619 and S/2016/720), the root causes of instability in Guinea-Bissau remain unaddressed and the current political paralysis has reversed the progress made after the successful general elections in 2014. As legislative and presidential elections, currently scheduled for 2018 and 2019, respectively, approach, the implementation of key reforms becomes even more urgent. 
 
 
V. Recommendations on the continuation of  United Nations sanctions
 
 
27. The prolonged political paralysis within Guinea-Bissau continues to highlight the fragility of State institutions and the lack of success in the political dialogue. To date, the security situation remains stable and tensions have not turned violent, the military does not interfere in political disputes, human rights seem to be respected overall and the constitutional order is not acutely threatened. However, I believe it is important to underscore that the current situation is not sustainable, which highlights the urgency of finding a resolution to the political impasse.  28. The recommendations on the continuation of United Nations sanctions contained in my previous report (S/2016/720) remain valid and relevant to the political situation in Guinea-Bissau. The Security Council may wish to maintain the current designation criteria and send a clear message to all citizens of GuineaBissau that the sanctions regime is applicable to all spoilers, regardless of their political or institutional affiliation, and that the Council will give consideration to further enhancing sanctions measures and designations as and when required. The Council could also consider the establishment of a panel of experts in order to deepen the information base for the Committee to promote greater awareness of the sanctions regime inside the country and to identify those who meet the designation criteria for targeted measures. 29. The current reported role played by the military, and by the listed individuals in particular, highlights the importance for the Security Council and its Committee to review the sanctions list. I recommend that the Committee update the sanctions list to take into account the information received concerning the death of Sanha Clussé.  30. The visit of the Chair of the Committee to Bissau was a strong signal of the Council’s commitment to the people of Guinea-Bissau. It was also seen as a sign of the Council’s resolve to consider targeted sanctions in combination with other Charter-based instruments to peacefully resolve the political impasse in the country. Continued engagement by the Committee with local, regional and international actors, as well as United Nations system partners, including the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.


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25 juli 2017

   

......... en zouden we dan eindelijk, ondanks alles en als laatste in de regio, glasvezelkabel krijgen !?

van: www.newsnow.co.uk:  

Guinea-Bissau, World Bank, Orange and MTN team up on $47m subsea project   

25 July 2017                     | Jason Mcgee-Abe                 

                        The government of Guinea-Bissau has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the World Bank, Orange and MTN for a $47 million project to link the country to the African Coast to Europe (ACE) subsea cable.

Under the agreement, French telecoms company Orange and South Africa's MTN Group will form a consortium alongside the government of the West African country. "The World Bank unlocks $31.596 million in the form of a loan to connect Bissau to the international fibre-optic cable," said the finance and transport ministries in a statement, which added that Orange and MTN will provide around $8 million each over a five-year period, which makes the total amount for the project $47 million. 

The new fibre-optic spur will be owned and operated by a consortium dubbed ‘Bissau Cabo’.  The Government of Guinea-Bissau has established a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) with private sector operators to share the cost of the investment in international and national connectivity and to ensure an efficient management of the submarine cable landing station.

The government created a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) and has divested its shares in the SPV to the private sector. Orange Bissau and MTN Bissau hold a combined 51% stake, while the government will be in possession of the remaining 49%. A memorandum describing the commitments of the government and the private sector was signed on 1 November 2016 by the Ministry of Economy and Finances (MoF), and the CEO of Orange Bissau. 

Access to the ACE submarine cable and the future West African Power Pool regional infrastructure will reduce the cost for the countries neighbouring Guinea-Bissau, and will result in positive effects on prices and capacity, increased availability of end-to-end high-capacity bandwidth at competitive rates and hence broadband provisioning within the region. This is the view from the Africa Infrastructure Country Diagnostic (AICD) report which highlights the importance of regional integration, including international infrastructure. "Providing Guinea-Bissau with diversity of access to international connectivity via access to the ACE submarine cable is vital to achieving an acceptable level of service reliability (currently inadequate due to cuts on existing terrestrial cable connections) and competitive pricing.”

The news comes after African operator InterCEL+ announced that it was to build a wireless network to connect the ACE subsea cable across the republic of Guinea. The project is set to provide a significant boost to local economies across Guinea, offering businesses affordable access to fibre-like broadband speeds that enable a wealth of advanced communications. Guinea Bissau will be the last coastal country in the region to link to a submarine cable.

At the signing ceremony to establish the consortium in July, minister of transport and telecommunications, Fidélis Forbs said the project will help the development of Guinea-Bissau.

The Guinea-Bissau project is due to be completed in 18 months and officials said it would improve internet speeds and reduce communication costs in the country which only 3.8% of individuals in the country are internet users, according to the UN’s International Telecommunication Union.

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17 juni 2017

 
De afgelopen week heeft de Wereldbank besloten haar hulp aan Guiné-Bissau te verdubbelen. De bank is een nieuw partnerschap aangegaan met Guiné-Bissau voor de periode 2018 - 2021 met als doelstelling "het terugbrengen van de armoede en een betere verdeling van de rijkdommen van het land".

uit La Tribune 16.06.17:

La Banque mondiale double sa « dotation » pour la Guinée-Bissau

La Banque mondiale vient de doubler le montant habituel de ses aides à la Guinée-Bissau et qui avoisinait les 42 millions de dollars. Ce financement de l’institution de Bretton Woods intervient alors que le pays passe par une période politique et économique tendue.

La Banque mondiale renforce son soutien à la Guinée-Bissau. Ce mardi 13 juin, l'institution financière internationale a approuvé un nouveau cadre de partenariat avec la Guinée-Bissau pour la période 2018 et 2021. Le partenariat vise deux objectifs : la réduction de la pauvreté et la répartition des richesses du pays. «Avec ce nouvel engagement, l'objectif à long terme de la Banque mondiale est d'aider la Guinée-Bissau à atteindre les deux objectifs de réduction de la pauvreté et une meilleure répartition des richesses, en tenant compte d'un environnement à haut risque », a déclaré Louise Cord, directrice es opérations de la Banque mondiale pour la Guinée-Bissau, un pays riche mais délaissé de plus en plus par ses partenaires à cause de son instabilité politique.

Un pays politiquement vulnérable

Indépendant depuis 1973, le troisième producteur de noix de cajou d'Afrique, et le sixième mondial, avec une production de 120 000 tonnes par an selon le Programme des Nations unies pour le développement, la Guinée-Bissau est victime d'une histoire politique mouvementée. Le coup d'Etat du 12 avril 2012, par exemple, a occasionné l'arrêt de nombreux programmes de développement dans le pays. Un véritable choc pour l'ancienne colonie portugaise qui peine aujourd'hui à exploiter son potentiel, notamment agricole. Selon la Banque mondiale, aucune stratégie d'aide globale de développement n'a été développée dans le pays depuis 1997. Pour corriger cette lacune, la Banque a décidé d'augmenter son soutien financier au pays.

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5 juni 2017

 

De CEDEAO-top in Monrovia gisteren heeft het koppel president José Mário Vaz en minister-president Úmaro Sissoco Embaló nauwelijks in de problemen gebracht. Er werd geen enkele sanctie getroffen. De vergadering drong er bij de president weliswaar op aan om zich aan al de termen van het Akkoord van Conakry te houden en bleef dreigen met sancties tegen de partijen die zich tegen het uitvoeren van dat Akkoord verzetten, maar de president kwam handig weg met de verklaring dat het om een "interpretatieverschil" ging (daar waar het de keuze van de minister-president betrof), dat de PAIGC de hoofd-schuldige is en dat hij nog drie maanden nodig had om het conflikt op te lossen. En die drie maanden kreeg hij. Het eerder genomen besluit van terugtrekking van de CEDEAO-troepen uit het land (ECOMIB) werd teruggedraaid en er werd besloten die troepen "vanwege de kwetsbare situatie in het land" nog drie maanden te handhaven. (Nog drie maanden zuipen en ECOMIB-kindjes maken, zo was de reactie in het barretje van mijn dorp).

Bij terugkomst in het land sprak de president van een succesvolle bijeenkomst en riep hij monter alle landgenoten op om mee te helpen, want "alleen de Guineeers zelf kunnen de crisis oplossen". Externaliseren noemen ze dat in de psychologie. Het beloven weer boeiende maanden te worden.

Verder was de vergadering bijzonder omdat twee staatshoofden - de president van Niger en de koning van Marokko - zich afmeldden nadat ze hadden begrepen dat de premier van Israel er ook zou zijn.

van http://www.rfi.fr  :

Le président togolais Faure Gnassingbé a été élu à la tête de la Cédéao, ce dimanche 5 juin. Il remplace la présidente libérienne Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

La décision a été prise ce dimanche en clôture du 51e sommet des chefs d’Etat de la Cédéao à Monrovia. Faure Gnassingbé a appelé à plus d'intégration et encouragé un peu plus encore la mobilité économique dans cet espace régional d'Afrique de l'Ouest, alors que l'une des décisions de ce sommet est de construire une autoroute entre Abidjan et Dakar.

« Il nous faut maintenant opérer des sauts qualitatifs vers notre objectif unique qui est de faire de notre organisation une Cédéao des peuples. Il nous faudra sans plus tarder enlever les dernières barrières au brassage et à l'imbrication de nos populations, responsabiliser notre jeunesse en encourageant sa mobilité économique dans l'espace régional, mettre à contribution nos hommes d'affaires, mettre à profit notre potentiel démographique, miser sur l'agriculture et l'industrialisation... Autant de défis que nous devons relever ensemble pour l'épanouissement de nos populations », a déclaré le président togolais.

Israël au premier plan

Cette journée a été marquée par l’absence du roi Mohammed VI, qui a annulé sa visite au dernier moment, officiellement en raison de la présence d’un autre invité de marque : le Premier ministre Israélien Benyamin Netanyahu. Une visite avec les honneurs qui marque selon le chef de l’Etat hébreux le retour diplomatique d'Israël sur le continent.

Israël est de retour en Afrique et l’Afrique est de retour en Israël. J’espère que nous parviendrons à concrétiser deux accords très importants pour approfondir notre coopération. Israël ouvre deux nouvelles missions commerciales : l’une en Afrique de l’Ouest, l’autre en Afrique de l’Est afin de renforcer les échanges commerciaux entre nos pays.

Benyamin Netanyahu, Premier ministre israélien :

« Israël est de retour en Afrique et l’Afrique est de retour en Israël. J’espère que nous parviendrons à concrétiser deux accords très importants pour approfondir notre coopération », a-t-il salué, rappelant qu'Israël ouvre deux nouvelles missions commerciales : l’une en Afrique de l’Ouest, l’autre en Afrique de l’Est.

Le Niger n'était représenté à Monrovia que par son ambassadeur. Selon des sources proches des autorités, Mahamadou Issoufou a décliné l'invitation en raison de la présence du Premier ministre israélien. Le Niger n'a pas de relations diplomatiques avec Israël depuis des années.

Une délégation de plus de 200 personnes, beaucoup de promesses et une douzaine d'entretiens bilatéraux, la visite du Premier ministre israélien au sommet avait tout d'une opération de séduction à l'encontre des Etats d'Afrique de l'Ouest. Pour Emmanuel Nahshon, porte-parole du ministre des Affaires étrangères israélien, l'Etat hébreu peut apporter beaucoup au continent africain : « Dans le domaine de l’agriculture, de l’eau, de la haute technologie aussi, dans le domaine de la sécurité, je crois qu’il y a un dialogue très important qui est en train de se former entre Israël et les Etats de l’Ouest africain. Le mot-clé, c’est celui de partenariat et de coopération, et c’est ce que nous avons fait aujourd’hui pendant la journée»

Un plan d’investissement de « 1 milliard de dollars » dans les énergies renouvelables a ainsi été annoncé. L'enjeu pour Israël est de renforcer les relations économiques, mais aussi contrer les pays africains qui votent « contre Israël » au sein des institutions internationales.

Et effet immédiat de cette visite, la levée des mesures de rétorsion diplomatiques d'Israël vis-à-vis du Sénégal. Depuis décembre 2016 et après le vote d'une résolution  à l’ONU condamnant la colonisation israélienne, décision parrainée par le Sénégal, Israël avait rappelé son ambassadeur et annulé son programme d'aide au Sénégal. Hier, tout a été pardonné. Le retour d'un ambassadeur israélien à Dakar et la reprise de la coopération entre les deux pays ont donc été décidé.

Adhésion du Maroc

Autre grand sujet sur lesquel les 15 pays membres de la Cédéao devaient statuer : la demande d’adhésion du Maroc à la Communauté des pays ouest-africains. Une demande acceptée sur le principe ce dimanche. La Décision finale sera prise au prochain sommet de l'organisation sous-régionale en décembre prochain. Un « oui » de principe, car la Cédéao doit maintenant se pencher sur les aspects techniques et juridiques qu'implique une possible adhésion du Maroc.

Mais en réalité, plus grand-chose ne s'oppose à l'entrée du Maroc dans cette organisation sous régionale. Seul le Ghana a émis des réserves sur ce nouveau venu. « Il faut relativiser les clivages géographiques » (dans un contexte de mondialisation), commentait ainsi une source sénégalaise dimanche soir, mettant en avant les relations commerciales importantes que ce pays du Maghreb entretient déjà avec l'Afrique de l'Ouest. Notamment avec le Sénégal, la Côte d'Ivoire et le Nigeria.

Crise en Guinée Bissau

Enfin, la crise en Guinée-Bissau, véritable casse-tête des pays d'Afrique de l'Ouest, a également été évoquée. Les institutions y sont bloquées depuis près de deux ans et les accords de Conakry proposés par la Cédéao en octobre dernier restés lettre morte.

Au final, il n'a pas été question de sanctions. La Cédéao a donné trois mois supplémentaires au président bissau-guinéen pour trouver une solution à la crise. Les troupes de la communauté des Etats d'Afrique de l'Ouest resteront plus longtemps sur place, au vu de la situation fragile de ce pays.

  
Pour lopposition togolaise, le président Gnassingbé n'est le mieux placé pour diriger la Cédéao

Le nouveau président de la Cédéao ne fait pas l'unanimité dans son pays. L'Alliance nationale pour le changement, principal parti de l'opposition, ne voit pas d'un bon œil la désignation de Faure Gnassingbé à la tête de l'institution.

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12 mei 2017

 

De Veiligheidsraad van de Verenigde Naties heeft gisteren president José Mário Vaz opgeroepen vóór de door de CEDEAO vastgestelde termijn, eindigend op  25 mei a.s., een minister-president te benoemen die voldoet aan de termen van het Akkoord van Conakry:

 

https://www.un.org/press/en/2017/sc12818.doc.htm

  

Security Council Press Statement on Guinea-Bissau

 

The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Elbio Rosselli (Uruguay):

The members of the Security Council expressed their deep concern over the protracted political and institutional crisis in Guinea-Bissau as a result of the inability of political stakeholders to reach a lasting and consensual solution, leading to the current gridlock.

The members of the Security Council commended the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) efforts and leadership and welcomed the visit of its high-level ministerial mission to Bissau on 23 and 24 April 2017 with the objective of assessing and evaluating the status of the implementation of the Conakry Agreement, in this regard, the members of the Council stressed the need for the continued international community’s support and engagement in supporting the regional efforts with the view to resolve the political impasse.

The members of the Council took note of the final communique of this ministerial mission and reaffirmed the centrality of the Conakry Agreement as a primary framework for the resolution of the political crisis.  The Council called upon the Bissau-Guinean stakeholders to refrain from actions that could escalate tensions and incite violence and to strictly respect and comply with the Conakry Agreement and the ECOWAS road map in addressing their differences and the challenges facing their country.

The members of the Council invited the President Vaz to appoint a Prime Minister whose selection respects the provisions of the Conakry Agreement.

The members of the Council expressed concern about the situation of the civilian population in Guinea-Bissau, which is suffering the negative effects of the political crisis, and urged all political actors to put the interest of the people of Guinea-Bissau above all other consideration and, in this regard, called upon Bissau-Guinean leaders, including the President, the Speaker of Parliament and heads of political parties, to abide by their commitment to bring political stability to Guinea-Bissau in engaging in genuine dialogue, including on the constitutional review, and finding common ground for a swift resolution of the political crisis.

The Members of the Security Council recalled that the implementation of the Agreement could be a way to restore the confidence of partners and enable the international community to fulfil the pledges made during the Brussels Conference in March 2015 in support of the programme “terra ranka” and for the development of Guinea-Bissau.

The members of the Security Council commended the defence and security forces for their continued non-interference in the political situation in Guinea-Bissau, and strongly urged them to maintain the same posture.

The members of the Security Council reiterated their commitment to continue to monitor the current political crisis and expressed their readiness to take necessary measures to respond to further worsening of the situation in Guinea-Bissau.

The members of the Council commended the work of the ECOWAS security mission in Guinea-Bissau (ECOMIB) in enhancing stability in Guinea-Bissau and took note of the decision of the ECOWAS Authority to withdraw ECOMIB by 30 June 2017, starting from 28 April, and urged the international community to give all necessary support to ensure a complete and seamless transition of security architecture to the national defence and security forces.

The members of the Council recalled the important role of the Peacebuilding Commission in supporting sustainable peace in Guinea-Bissau and welcomed its active engagement with relevant stakeholders on the ground as well as with regional organizations to support efforts towards a political solution.

The members of the Council expressed deep concern over the challenges posed by international organized crime and other major threats, including drug trafficking in the country, as well as violent extremism, which can be conducive to terrorism, and terrorist threats.

The Members of the Security Council expressed their support to Special Representative Modibo Touré as well as the subregional organizations to continue to coordinate and work closely with all stakeholders for the resolution of the political crisis in Guinea-Bissau.

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20 januari 2017


van www. http://theguardian.com

"Troops enter the Gambia after Adama Barrow is inaugurated in Senegal  

Military action comes as west African states ramp up pressure on Yahya Jammeh to step down

West African troops have crossed the border into the Gambia as part of regional efforts to support the democratically elected president in a his lingering showdown with his predecessor, Yahya Jammeh.

“We have entered Gambia,” Colonel Abdou Ndiaye, a spokesman for the Senegalese army, wrote in a text message to Reuters on Thursday night, hours after Adama Barrow was forced to hold his inauguration as president in Dakar, the capital of Senegal.

The Nigerian military told the Guardian it was also deploying troops to Thethe Gambia as part of a “standby” Wforce assembled by the west African union Ecowas to enforce the result of the December election, which Barrow won. However, Ecowas announced late on Thursday that it would halt its military operation to give a final chance to mediation efforts.

A delegation of west African leaders – including the presidents of Liberia, Mauritania and Guinea – are expected to arrive in Gambia on Friday as part of a final mediation mission, Gambian state television said.

Holding a Qur’an and looking solemn, Barrow was sworn in at the Gambian embassy in Dakar, where he has spent the past few days, and delivered his inaugural speech as president. “This is a day no Gambian will ever forget,” he told a crowd of officials and diplomats. “This is the first time since the Gambia became independent in 1965 that the Gambia has changed the government through the ballot box.”

Jammeh, who ruled the west African nation for 22 years and tried to extend his tenure despite losing to Barrow, is still in State House in the capital and is attempting to make a last-minute deal to ease his way out, according to sources close to the government. Earlier this week, he imposed a state of emergency in a final attempt to hang on to power.

Nevertheless, celebrations in the Gambia began as soon as Barrow had made his speech, with drivers beeping their horns in elation and people leaning out of car windows, waving their arms, in scenes reminiscent of the outpouring of joy after the election result was announced. Jammeh rejected it a short time later.

Significantly, Barrow called on the UN to enforce his electoral win. “I hereby make a special appeal to Ecowas, AU [African Union] and the UN, particularly the security council, to support the government and people of the Gambia in enforcing their will, restore their sovereignty and constitutional legitimacy,” he said.

Soon after Barrow’s speech, the UN security council unanimously backed a resolution that called “upon the countries in the region and the relevant regional organisation to cooperate with President Barrow in his efforts to realise the transition of power” – a statement that lent weight to Barrow but stopped short of explicitly sanctioning military intervention

When the president of Mauritania arrived in the country on a final mediation mission on Wednesday night, Jammeh demanded that Barrow’s inauguration be delayed and that he be allowed to return to his farm in the Gambia, according to diplomatic sources. The sources also said Jammeh asked that Ecowas, the regional body that has been leading negotiations for the past month, be replaced as a mediator.

However, it is highly unlikely that Jammeh will be allowed any of these concessions except a safe haven. One senior member of the coalition told the Guardian last month that Jammeh had “bunkers and treasure” at the farm and would start an insurgency if he were allowed to go back.

Barrow offered an olive branch to the country’s military, which has changed its allegiance several times over the past month, with the chief of defence staff saying most recently that as Jammeh paid his salary, he answered to him. “I call on all civilian and military personnel of the state to support my presidency, since it is built on a constitutional foundation,” Barrow said. “They are assured that they will not be subjected to any injustice or discrimination but will be provided with better working conditions and terms of service.”

Ecowas warned on Thursday night that it would resume its military advance on Friday if Jammeh refused to cede power. Marcel de Souza, head of the Ecowas commission, told reporters that it was out of the question that Jammeh would be allowed to remain in the country.

Halifa Sallah, the spokesman for Barrow’s coalition, said he expected Jammeh to change his defiant position when he saw that the military were no longer with him, which he thought would happen imminently. “Once the international community recognises Barrow, Jammeh will realise that he does not have legitimacy, and governability is also an impossibility, so he may decide to leave,” he said.

The Nigerian foreign minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, who was involved in mediation efforts, said: “There’s a bottom line. There’s a new president. He has to leave power. Ecowas is ready to take steps to ensure that the elected president is able to assume his mandate. The new president will have his say. He might not want necessarily to ride into Banjul on the tank of a foreign country.”

Earlier on Thursday, before the post-inauguration celebrations, an eerie quiet descended on the country as thousands of Gambians waited to see what would happen. Hiding in their homes, many had spent the previous day stocking up on supplies and queuing at banks for cash.

Only a few tourists ventured out into the deserted streets, and hundreds of British holidaymakers were flown home on Wednesday amid chaotic scenes at the airport.

Human rights groups said Barrow had made many vows that he now had to deliver. “We must not forget the big promises Adama Barrow has made to free political prisoners, remove repressive laws and bring Gambia back to theinternational criminal court,” said Amnesty International’s Sabrina Mahtani.

As well as the knock to the tourism industry, a vital source of revenue for the Gambia, Barrow will have to deal with an unfolding humanitarian situation just over the border: 25,000 people, half of them children, have fled the country in recent days.

Not everyone was on their way out of the country, however. One of Africa’s most famous writers, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, was in the Gambia for the inaugural Mboka festival of arts and stayed despite the evacuations. He said that events in the tiny west African nation had a much wider resonance for the continent. “It’s very important for Africa. There is a sense that everyone is rooting for Gambia to go through this transition,” he said.

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14 januari 2017

Eind vorige week gooide president José Mário Vaz olie op het vuur van het "institutionele conflikt" door na een diner met de minister van Binnenlandse Zaken, de PAIGC-dissidente Botche Candé, te beweren dat de aanleiding tot de crisis gelegen was in het feit dat onder de regering van Domingos Simões Pereira, ongeveer 95.000.000 euro belastinggeld was weggesluisd. En daarom  had hij die regering in augustus 2015 naar huis gestuurd.

van  http://www.jeuneafrique.fr

Le président bissau-guinéen José Mario Vaz a affirmé que quelque 100 millions d'euros de recettes fiscales avaient été détournés sous son ex-Premier ministre Domingos Simoes Pereira, dont le limogeage est à l'origine de la crise politique traversée par le pays. 

« C’est triste, c’est comme si ce pays avait été envoûté. Ce sont 62 milliards (environ 95 millions d’euros) qui ont été détournés », a déclaré M. Vaz vendredi soir lors d’une réception offerte par le ministre de l’Intérieur, Botché Candé.

Selon lui, ce sont de telles pratiques qui l’ont conduit à limoger en août 2015 le gouvernement de M. Pereira, chef du Parti africain pour l’indépendance de la Guinée et du Cap-Vert (PAIGC, au pouvoir), auquel tous deux appartiennent.

Sollicité par l’AFP, l’entourage de M. Pereira n’a pas souhaité réagir dans l’immédiat.

« Quand j’ai dénoncé pour la première fois la corruption dans l’appareil d’Etat, des gens m’ont reproché de n’avoir présenté aucune preuve. Je ne me suis pas précipité car chaque chose en son temps », a ajouté le président.

« Aujourd’hui, les preuves existent », a déclaré M. Vaz, visiblement en colère, qui avait apporté un volumineux dossier dans lequel se trouvaient selon lui des justificatifs, sans indication sur leur provenance.

« Où sont passées les recettes des douanes et des impôts qui en temps normal, rapportent 4 à 5 milliards de FCFA (6 à 7,6 millions d’euros, NDLR) par mois? » a-t-il insisté.

« Les auteurs de ces malversations doivent répondre de leurs actes. Même le président doit répondre devant la justice », a poursuivi M. Vaz, soulignant qu’une commission anticorruption avait été créée.

Un nouveau Premier ministre désigné en novembre pour sortir de la crise politique, Sissoco Embalo, a prêté serment avec son gouvernement le 13 décembre, mais le PAIGC l’a rejeté comme ses prédécesseurs, accusant M. Vaz d’avoir violé l’accord de Conakry.

Cet accord, signé le 14 octobre sous l’égide du chef de l’Etat guinéen Alpha Condé, dans le cadre d’une médiation des Etats d’Afrique de l’Ouest, prévoyait une « procédure consensuelle » pour choisir un Premier ministre « ayant la confiance du président » devant rester en place jusqu’aux élections législatives de 2018.

Selon la Constitution, le choix du Premier ministre revient au parti majoritaire.

Or, le PAIGC ayant perdu sa majorité absolue de 57 sièges sur 102 à la suite de la fronde de 15 députés, M. Vaz veut s’appuyer sur une majorité alternative, constituée des 41 députés du Parti de la rénovation sociale (PRS), deuxième formation parlementaire, et des 15 frondeurs.

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