feiten, impressies en beelden       

13 december 2012

Op de site van de Veiligheidsraad, , staat een aantrekkelijk overzicht van de ontwikkelingen, dat bovendien inzicht verschaft in de politiek van de Veiligheidsraad betreffende Guiné-Bissau.
Expected Council Action

In December, the Council will be briefed in consultations on the quarterly report on efforts to restore constitutional order in Guinea-Bissau following the 12 April coup, possibly by Special Representative Joseph Mutaboba. The briefing will likely be followed by a briefing by Morocco on the work of the Guinea-Bissau Sanctions Committee.
A press statement is possible as an outcome.
The mandate of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS) expires on 28 February 2013.

Key Recent Developments

The transitional government, which was brokered by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and is not recognised by some Council members, has taken a hard-line attitude towards UNIOGBIS. On 9 November, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation sent a letter to the Secretary-General requesting the replacement of Joseph Mutaboba as Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of UNIOGBIS. The letter stated that Mutaboba does not serve the interest of the transition programme currently underway. It is unclear whether or how the Secretary-General will respond to this request.
The internal situation in Guinea-Bissau remains volatile. An attack on a military base near the Bissau airport that resulted in six deaths took place on 21 October. The transitional government accused former Army Chief of Staff Jose Zamora Induta, former Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Júnior, Portugal and members of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP) of being behind what was described as an attempted coup. One week later, Induta’s former bodyguard, Pansau N’Tchamá, was arrested outside Bissau as the suspected coup leader.
ECOWAS Commission President Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo visited Guinea-Bissau on 7 November, to formalise the ECOWAS Mission in Bissau (ECOMIB) through the signing of two agreements with the transitional government—a memorandum of understanding on the implementation of the roadmap for the defence and security sector reform programme and the status of mission agreement formalising the deployment of ECOMIB. It has been suggested that the ECOMIB mandate should be taken to the Security Council for approval; however, it is unlikely that this will happen due to the lack of support for ECOWAS’s agenda in Guinea-Bissau by some Council members.
An “Extra-ordinary Summit” on Mali and Guinea-Bissau was convened by ECOWAS in Abuja, Nigeria, on 11 November. Regional leaders strongly condemned the alleged 21 October coup attempt, urging the AU and other partners to actively participate in the implementation of the 7 November agreements and extending ECOMIB’s mandate by six months beyond its expiry on 17 November. The meeting also called on the AU to recognise the transitional government of Guinea-Bissau, requesting the suspension of its sanctions.
The Partido Africano da Independência da Guiné e Cabo Verde (PAIGC) remains in control of the parliament, and both Gomes Júnior and former CPLP Executive Secretary Domingos Simões Pereira have announced their intentions to run in PAIGC leadership elections at a party congress to be held in January 2013. It remains unclear as to whether Gomes Júnior will be permitted to run in the April 2013 presidential elections, as he is currently excluded from politics by the transitional government. Some suggest that it is unlikely he will run due to a lack of guarantee for his security. The interim President, Prime Minister and other members of the transitional government are not permitted to run in the presidential election.

Since the 12 April coup, there is evidence of an increase in drug trafficking in Guinea-Bissau. The New York Times reported that from April to July, UN officials have counted at least 20 instances of small planes suspected of carrying drugs stopping in Guinea-Bissau on their way to Europe. It is widely believed those at the highest levels of the military have been involved in the facilitation of trafficking. The transitional government and military leadership reject the accusations.
The Council last met on Guinea-Bissau on 18 September when it discussed in closed consultations the Secretary-General’s report on the restoration of constitutional order in Guinea-Bissau (S/2012/704
During meetings held on the margins of the General Assembly key actors active on Guinea-Bissau agreed on a potential mission to be undertaken with the involvement of the AU, CPLP, ECOWAS, the UN and the EU to evaluate the political, human rights and security situation in the country. On 2 November, ECOWAS proposed a draft terms of reference for a joint assessment mission to Guinea-Bissau, calling for the mission to be undertaken from 15-16 November. However, Council members had not agreed on the draft terms and proposed dates for the mission by press time.

Key Issues

The key issue that remains paramount for the Council is the effort by national, regional and international stakeholders to promote the return to constitutional order, including improved cooperation between the AU, CPLP, ECOWAS, UN and other partners.
A related issue is agreement on an inclusive transitional programme, comprising the implementation of comprehensive security sector reforms.

An important perennial issue relates to Guinea-Bissau’s involvement in international narcotics trafficking, particularly as the military responsible for the 12 April coup is allegedly heavily implicated in the trafficking.


Options for the Council include:

· issuing a press statement expressing concern regarding the alleged attempted counter-coup and calling for coordination among stakeholders and their support for the transition process and preparations for the April 2013 elections; or
· taking no action at this time.

Council Dynamics

Council members are divided on the critical issues of accepting the legitimacy of the transitional government and supporting the transitional programme put forward by ECOWAS.
At this stage there has been no move to bring the matter of easing UN sanctions to the attention of Council members.
Portugal would like to see a more inclusive transitional process, with the military relinquishing power completely. It appears that all EU members remain united in their lack of support for the transitional government, despite potential conflicting interests and the need to work with ECOWAS on Mali and the wider Sahel. It is unlikely that the position of the EU members will change, unless there is an agreed roadmap for the transition process that engages all parties to the conflict.
As the only ECOWAS member currently on the Security Council, Togo supports the programme set out by the ECOMIB agreements and supports the transitional government.
Furthermore, while in no way connected to the transitional government’s letter urging the replacement of the head of UNIOGBIS, some Council members have concerns with regard to the UN’s leadership on the issue of Guinea-Bissau.

Togo is the lead country on Guinea-Bissau, and Morocco is the chair of the 2048 Guinea-Bissau Sanctions Committee. 


 21 november 2012

Op de site verscheen deze week een interview met de Zweedse emeritus hoogleraar politieke wetenschappen van de Universiteit van Uppsala, Lars Rudebeck, over de missie van de CEDEAO (ECOWAS in het Engels) in Guiné-Bissau; gezien de relevantie voor een goed begrip van de actuele stand van zaken druk ik het hier volledig af:



At a summit meeting earlier this month, leaders from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)  nded the mandate of a small peacekeeping force in Guinea-Bissau that was put in place after a coup in the West African state in April. In an email interview, Lars Rudebeck, a professor emeritus of political science at Upsalla University in Sweden, discussed ECOWAS’ mission in Guinea-Bissau.

WPR: What is the composition of the ECOWAS force in Guinea-Bissau, and what are its goals?

Lars Rudebeck: The force is made up of around 600 soldiers from Burkina Faso, Senegal and Togo, according to ECOWAS. It was initially deployed in May 2012 for six months. At the ECOWAS summit meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, earlier this month, the decision was made to extend the mandate for the force for another six months. It is reported that Nigerian troops will now be substituting for some of the others.

The ECOWAS force was deployed after a roughly equally large Angolan force was obliged to leave after the military coup on April 12, 2012. The Angolan soldiers had arrived in March 2011 on invitation by the legal government that was overthrown by the coup. They had all left by early June 2012.

The official reason for the presence of the ECOWAS force is to support and help pave the way for peaceful transition/return to constitutional democracy, after the electoral process was interrupted in April between the first and second rounds of the presidential election then underway. Underlying this are interests in control - West African, particularly Senegalese and Nigerian, as opposed to Angolan - and a measure of stability.

WPR: How effective has the mission been?

Rudebeck: The short answer is that, so far, the mission has not been effective at all. Overall the political, economic and social situation seems to have continued to deteriorate since the coup. The following are a few indications:

- Frequently closed banks, which cause great difficulties for, among others, farmers attempting to market their cashew harvest, due to lack of buyers' access to cash. This in turn is serious both for the farming population, the great majority in Guinea-Bissau, and for the national economy - cashew exports are almost the sole source of foreign currency besides foreign aid, which is also dwindling.

- Frequently closed schools, due to teachers striking over unpaid wages.

- Difficult access to all kinds of oil-based fuels.

- Rising unemployment in urban centers.

- No apparent end in sight to Guinea-Bissau's role as a significant hub in drug trafficking between Latin America, especially Colombia, and Europe.


- The sacking in early August 2012 of the director of the independent social science research institute INEP, who had come out openly in May in support of an immediate return to constitutional democracy.

- An armed attack on a military base near Bissau, the capital city, on Oct. 21, in which six assailants and one guard were killed. The leader of the assault, an army captain, was caught and is now being held in jail.

- The severe beating of two leading representatives of the democratic opposition outside Bissau on Oct. 23. They were then dumped in the countryside.

WPR: How does the mission in Bissau reflect on ECOWAS' larger role as a conflict manager in West Africa?

Rudebeck: To date, it does not reflect very positively, judging from the lack of success. Still, the fact that ECOWAS intervened at all probably looks better, so far, than if it had simply remained passive. In the longer run, however, it is an increasingly serious problem for ECOWAS that the entire "international community," with ECOWAS as the sole significant exception, refuses to accord any legitimacy at all to the coup government ECOWAS itself is cooperating with.



5 oktober 2012

Op verscheen deze week een interview met de leider van de staatsgreep van 12 april j.l., opperbevelhebber António Indjai:

Dialogue with a Coup Leader: Has Guinea-Bissau Become a Narco-State?

Antonio Indjai, the general who lords it over the small West African nation, is unrepentant and uncompromising about overthrowing the previous government. And he dislikes the U.N. too

By JESSICA HATCHER / BISSAU | October 2, 2012 |.

General Antonio Indjai, 57, is the chief of staff of Guinea-Bissau’s armed forces, and on April 12 he overthrew the elected government in a coup, citing as the reason the presence of the Angolan military. The 270 soldiers from Angola had originally arrived to help reform Guinea-Bissau’s armed forces, which stand accused of involvement in a cocaine transshipment trade that sees an estimated 30 tons of the illegal substance ending up in Europe every year. The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime has noted an increase in drug trafficking since the coup, which was triggered by allegations that the Angolans were plotting to destroy Guinea-Bissau’s military. In response to the coup, all foreign aid to the government was cut. West Africa’s regional bloc, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has since deployed a stabilizing force inside Guinea-Bissau. Indjai met TIME’s Jessica Hatcher at the military barracks in the capital, Bissau, on Oct. 2, 2012.


TIME: What is the relationship between the military and the transitional government?

Indjai: It is a positive relationship. That means, we are agreed on all facts, from A through to Z. It is positive in every way.


Some say it’s you with the power, not the government. What do you say to that?

I ask you, who has real power anyway? I ask you, who does decide on power in the world?

There has been talk of adding more forces to the current ECOWAS forces deployed in Guinea-Bissau. Would that work?

For the world to be preoccupied with a place like this, where there is no need for foreign forces and where there is peace, it makes no sense. Let them send their troops where there is a need, to Mali and to Syria, for example. If the U.N. is not concerned with these countries, why is it concerning itself with Guinea-Bissau? Do you see anyone being killed in the street here? No. What’s the problem? Let them go to Syria instead.

If Carlos Gomes Jr. were to come back, would the former Prime Minister be safe?

We would not be responsible for Carlos Gomes Jr.’s security on his return. If he were to come back, he’d be responsible for his own security. I repeat, if he were to come back, whatever happened to him would be his own or the U.N.’s responsibility.

When do you expect a new round of elections?

If the U.N. continues to instigate trouble in Guinea-Bissau, people will not have enough time to prepare for elections. With the transitional period standing at one year, if the troubles continue, then how can we prepare in time for elections? They must pipe down and allow us to organize the elections freely with the current government.
The first problem is why they are granting [the deposed interim President] Raimundo Pereira a voice at the U.N. [General Assembly] when he has been dismissed by a coup — how can he speak on behalf of the people? Who is he reporting to? He has been absent for 90 days. I call that trouble.

How do you consider U.S. politics with a view to Guinea-Bissau?

Very, very positive.

I have read a lot about the April 12 coup but would like to hear about it from you. Why did you organize a coup?

We didn’t organize a coup, we organized a countercoup. Do you know the origins of this coup? Angola and Carlos Gomes Jr. Would America allow a foreign army with heavier weapons than them inside the United States? We said [to Angola], Either you give these weapons to us, or, if not, leave the country and we will continue with cooperation between our two countries in the future. They said no, and only reinforced their own weaponry. I’m asking you, in light of this, what is the origin of the coup? Angola and Carlos Gomes Jr.

If we hadn’t organized a coup before them, they’d have reinforced their troops here and arrested us. The intention of Carlos Gomes Jr. was to have international forces to add to the Angolan troops, which meant they could have struck us down at any time. I drew [Carlos Gomes Jr.'s] attention to this more than 20 times — I said not to bring Angolan troops here. This is why we organized a coup. I didn’t ask that he remove the Angolan troops, just that he solve the problem of the weapons.

I’ve heard people in the street say that the coup represents a failure of democracy.

Of course I agree the coup is a failure of democracy. A coup has no place in a democracy. But if you have no other means of escape, you have to look for a solution. For example, if I took you and locked you in this room with my weapon and I were to shoot, how would you react? You’d want to escape, and you might break down the door — you’d take any means that you could in order to get out.

We removed just two people — the Prime Minister and the President. Where else does that exist, that a coup d’état happens and no one dies? Not one. Since they didn’t want to take our advice, we said leave or you will be dismissed.

The head of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, Yuri Fedotov, said last week that drug trafficking in Guinea-Bissau has increased since the coup. What are your observations on that?

We are requesting that they send a special mission to investigate and evidence this, to see where and when the drugs have come through here since April, and whether it really has increased or not. The representative of the U.N. here is a crook — he’s the brother-in-law of Cadogo [a nickname for Carlos Gomez Jr.]. All this information has been prepared by [Joseph] Mutabobo [the U.N.’s special representative to Guinea-Bissau] — if I were the government, I’d consider him persona non grata.

Some say that the chief of the armed forces in Guinea-Bissau is involved in drug trafficking: How do you respond to that?

Show me the proof. I tell you, all the people who are providing this information are crooks. Because I didn’t obey Carlos Gomes Jr., they are chasing me out of the country. I want proof — let them provide that proof.

Was Carlos Gomes Jr. involved in the death of President João Bernardo “Nino” Vieira?

I don’t know. That is political.
Were you involved?

For what? Why should I be involved in that? This is no more than the gossip on the street. If I wasn’t in power at that time, how should I know? I wasn’t the chief of staff then. Let us ask Carlos Gomes Jr., the former Prime Minister.

There is a history of conflict between the military and civilian government in Guinea-Bissau. What
is it that the military wants?

There is no misunderstanding between us — the only problem was the weaponry brought by the Angolans. This was the only misunderstanding we had.