President George Manneh Weah has called on African leaders and the international development partners to take concrete steps for the mediate in the present political crisis in Guinea and work to restore civilian rule and propose that a merged ECOWAS-AU-MRU Mission, supported by the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission and Peacebuilding Fund, should be established to mediate in the current Guinean transitional arrangements being undertaken to prepare Guinea for democratic elections and constitutional democracy.
President Weah made the proposal on Monday, November 22, 2021, at the opening ceremony of the Mano River Union Diplomatic, Peace, Security and Democracy conference hosted by the Government of Liberia in collaboration with the Mano River Union on the political situation in the Republic of Guinea and sustaining peace, security, stability & democracy in the Mano River Union.
President said that this ECOWAS-MRU collaboration should be viewed as part of the ongoing ECOWAS and AU reform processes and in which the decentralization of regional and sub-regional responsibilities are undertaken to reduce cost and ensure the sustainability of peace, security, and democracy, at the local level of development.
He said therefore, the MRU-ECOWAS collaboration should support conflict management, resolution, and political transformation in Guinea as an added impetus to the proposed revision of the ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance
“In the premise, I propose that a merged ECOWAS-AU-MRU Mission, supported by the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission and Peacebuilding Fund, should be established to mediate in the current Guinean transitional arrangements being undertaken to prepare Guinea for democratic elections and constitutional democracy”, President Weah said.
In this regard, President Weah urged the Secretary-General and the Secretariat of the Mano River Union to reach out to the African Union, United Nations Peacebuilding Commission and Peace Building Fund, to foster stronger and more active partnerships in peacebuilding initiatives for the Mano River Union. We also encourage these organizations to welcome and support such partnership outreach.
“We must utilize all conflict management mechanisms already developed by the MRU and ECOWAS to address the ongoing situation in our Sisterly Republic of Guinea, where, after the coup d’état of September 5, 2021, the Transitional Authorities are galvanizing the support of the Guinean masses in preparing that Member State for democratic elections and the resumption of constitutional order and democracy”, President said.
President Weah while acknowledging that the Mano River Union has consistently collaborated and cooperated with ECOWAS, the African Union and the United Nations, however, the effective execution of its mandate is now being challenged by the porosity of the borders, which permits the easy movements of small arms and light weapons, contraband, and also facilitates other cross-border crimes and illegal operations.
“At the same time, part of our shared legacies is internal political discordance that historically caused the breakdown of democracy and governance at some point in each of the Member States of our sub-region. These unfortunate experiences must now inform our quest for durable diplomacy, peace, security and democracy in the sub-region”, he said.
President Weah told the gathering that If the stakeholders are to be successful in finding sustainable solutions for peace, security, stability and democracy, then they must begin to examine the root causes and determinants of conflict and insecurity in our sub-region.
He noted that some of these will include addressing essential economic matters of growth and development; including multi-dimensional poverty, lack of political inclusiveness, gender inequity and youth unemployment, as well as potential threats of terrorism, extremism, climate change, epidemics, and pandemics such as Ebola and COVID-19; to name a few.
“On the political front, we must abide by constitutional term limits and guarantee political inclusion to avoid popular dissent that stifles the smooth transition of power and stability in our sub-region” He said
President Weah, who was emphatic about bringing peace and restoring democratic rule in Guinea, called on the delegation to remain engaged with the political situation in Guinea for a smooth transition to democratic elections and the resumption of constitutional order and democracy. He added that Liberia has a natural interest in this process because of its interlinked historical, geographical, cultural, and socio-economic relationship with the People of the Republic of Guinea.
“We look forward to the positive, practical, and innovative outcomes of this Conference to help accelerate the transitional process towards democratic governance in Guinea”, he concluded.