Ecowas warns of G-Bissau civil war risk

2012-05-08 14:25

New York - West Africa's regional group warned on Monday that civil war could erupt in Guinea Bissau if the international community forces the junta to hand back power to the government it deposed last month.

But the ousted government and Portuguese-speaking nations again demanded that the UN Security Council back a multi-national intervention force. The government deposed on 12 April criticised a proposed peace plan by the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) as encouraging coup d’états.

Since rebel soldiers carried out Guinea Bissau's fourth coup in 14 years, Ecowas, the European Union and Community of Portugal Language Countires (CPLP) have all since imposed sanctions.

Ecowas is preparing to send a security force to Guinea-Bissau while at the same time pressing the junta to accept a deal under which a transitional government would organise elections in 12 months.

Salamatu Hussaini-Suleiman, Ecowas commissioner for political affairs, acknowledged the efforts had achieved "mixed results", blaming it on the "intransigence of the junta".

She told a Security Council meeting on Guinea-Bissau that "sacrifices and compromises would be needed" to end the crisis.

"The constitutional order that existed prior to the coup d’état cannot be restored immediately, as the PAIGC [ruling party] is demanding, if the spectre of civil war is to be avoided," Hussaini-Suleiman said.

Mamadu Jalo Pires, foreign minister of the ousted government, said "atrocities" were still being committed. He said many government, political party and judiciary leaders remained in hiding in embassies in Bissau.

Stabilisation force

Peaceful rallies had been "violently dispersed" by the junta, crime was increasing and public funds had been "pillaged" by the rogue military officers.

Pires said the Ecowas plan for a transitional government "appears to legitimise the coup d’état" by not endorsing the return to constitutional order.

He said it "seems to encourage coup d’états in Africa, in particular in Guinea Bissau, instead of combating them".

Pires and Georges Chikoti, Angola's foreign minister and current head of the CPLP, which includes Brazil and Portugal, called on the Security Council to impose sanctions on the coup leaders and support a UN-mandated stabilisation force.

Chikoti said it was "urgent" for the UN Security Council action and added that the Portuguese-speaking countries were "ready to make a real contribution to this initiative."

The UN leader Ban Ki-moon said in a report last week that the Security Council should consider sanctions against the coup leaders but that an intervention force should be a last-ditch move.

Read more on:    un  |  ecowas  |  guinea-bissau  |  west africa  |  coups

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


The rich will pay - Mpofu

The EFF in Gauteng will focus all its energy on improving the lives of the poor, the party's premier candidate Dali Mpofu says.


Latest elections multimedia

Watch what happened when we blindfolded Helen Zille and asked her to eat random things
13 days to elections - news you need to know
11 Julius Malema quotes you'll never forget
DA won't get 30% - Zille
  • Tuesday Century City - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Ratanga Road Southbound
    ROADWORKS - lane closure between Ocean Spirit Avenue and Century Boulevard (until mid April)
  • Tuesday Mitchells Plain - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Spine Road
    ROAD CLOSED between Weltevreden Drive and Seafarer Drive due to roadworks (until mid April)
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Mother’s Day special offers!

Spoil mom with these awesome specials that will warm her heart. Shop now!

Twisp – the smoking alternative

Buy any 2 refills for R250 and save R149. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Mother’s Day specials on appliances

Browse our range of Mother’s Day appliances to spoil and pamper mom. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Y

The Samsung Y (Young) is tiny but powerful with Android...

From R1499.00

I'm shopping for:


Treat yourself to something beautiful. You tend to put so much energy in making everything around you work harmoniously, more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.