The Guinea Bissau crisis
Thursday, May 03, 2012
of the sub-regional bloc Ecowas in forcing the Malian Junta out of power and
laying down rules that will ensure that the junta in Guinea Bissau returns that
country to constitutional order without further delay are indeed commendable.
The move is an indication that Ecowas is now ready to assume its full political
character and serve as an organisation that is ready to ensure that peace,
tranquility and democracyflourish
in the sub-region.
and Banjul meetings to that effect are registering significant outcomes and we
share the optimism of the Ecowas Commission chief that a solution to the Bissau
crisis is at hand, though as President Jammeh stated during the contact group
meeting in Banjul, the resolutions of which was rejected by the junta, patience
is running out and the Bissau junta either dance willinglyto the rhythm of democracy or face an
Ecowas stand by force in that respect.
continued pressure and imposition of sanctions with a total embargo declared by
Ecowas helped to force the soldiers who had carried out the coup d'etat in Mali
to rethink their position and hand over power to the civilian authority led by
the speaker of Malian Parliament. Same action may certainly yield dividend in
But to prevent all that and ensure a smooth return to constitutional rule, the Bissau junta has to realise thatthe military is supposed to be a vanguard organisation that works at all times with and for the people.Its political character lies in protecting the territorial integrity of a sovereign state and the lives and properties of a sovereign citizenry.
Once the military abdicates its
responsibilities and uses the guns bought by the people for their protection
against the people by usurping peoples power, thereby scuttling democracy, such
a military becomes a rogue criminal institution.
In fact, it is disheartening to know that since Guinea-Bissau won its independence from Portugal in September 1973, after 13 years of war, the West African country has gone through successive waves of violence and instability which saw a dictatorship, four military coups, a civil war, and the killing of four military chiefs of staff. Guinea-Bissau is described as the country where no democratically elected president has ever completed a term in office.
Guinea-Bissau is rendered more fragile by a weak economy. It is listed among the poorest countries in the world, with more than 70 percent of the population living on less than $2 a day. It is also a geographical challenge with over 80 islands in addition to the mainland, making it an easy prey for drug cartels which have transformed the dysfunctional nation into a narco-state.
The junta must therefore be part of the progressive social forces that will work to ensure that Guinea Bissau buries its past with all its unpleasant memories and move forward with the says of democracy and development. This is what Ecowas wants to see and the Bissau military has to be a partner in that drive.
Author: Daily Observer