ECOWAS calls for extension of peacekeeping force in Guinea Bissau

Adoba Echono, Abuja

Members of the ECOWAS Parliament have urged member states to extend the mandate of the ECOWAS Stabilisation Mission in Guinea Bissau for another six months.

They made the call at the end of the 2016 First Ordinary Session of the fourth legislature in Abuja.

Members of the Parliament in a resolution expressed concerns at the continuing political tensions in that country.

They added that it would “negate the progress that has been made since the return to normal constitution order following election in 2014”.

“After due deliberations, the Speaker of the Parliament Mr. Mustapha Cisse Lo said the parliament  requests the higher authorities in Guinea Bissau to maintain social cohesion, national dialogue and consensus imperative for economic and social development.

“Appeals to the political class in Guinea to put the interest of the country above parity considerations.”

Members in the resolution requested that that commission’s president spared no efforts in mobilising additional resources to keep the mission “in place”.

It will be recalled that the ECOWAS Mission in Guinea Bissau was deployed to that country in April 2014 to facilitate the process of transition following a coup.

It will also be recalled that the ECOWAS Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff met in March to develop modalities for the withdrawal of the Mission.

The parliament also came up with a resolution on the political situation in the sub-region.

Members, in the resolution, condemned recent terrorist attacks in Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Mali and called for enhanced cooperation among member states to fight the scourge.

“The ECOWAS Parliament requests the member states to coordinate their actions to prevent and stop terrorist acts within our community.”

The members mandated the Speaker of the parliament to communicate the resolutions made to the Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State.

The Speaker of the parliament also appealed to member to pay their community levy as according to him without the payment ECOWAS institutions would not be able to execute projects this year.

The parliament also resolved to continue to push for the enhancement of powers.

On the ECOWAS day marked on the 28th of May every year, Mr.Cisse Lo urged leaders in the region accelerate the process of regional integration.

ECOWAS was founded on twenty eight of May 1975 with the mission to promote economic integration across Africa.