The Secretary-General welcomes the start of an inclusive dialogue among political leaders, civil society and religious communities of Guinea-Bissau today in Guinea. The dialogue is the crucial first step in implementing the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) roadmap to end the political crisis, which political leaders agreed to in Bissau on 10 September 2016.
The Secretary-General thanks the ECOWAS Mediator for Guinea-Bissau, H.E. Mr. Alpha Condé, President of the Republic of Guinea, for hosting the parties and leading the regional effort to swiftly implement the roadmap. He further encourages all parties to engage in constructive discussions and seize this opportunity for a favourable outcome in the interest of the people of Guinea-Bissau. He calls on all parties to jointly achieve decisive progress within the coming days, in order to break the political impasse that has prevailed in the country since August 2015.
The Secretary-General has requested his Special Representative in Guinea-Bissau and Head of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS), Mr. Modibo I. Touré, to continue to work closely with all stakeholders in Guinea-Bissau. This he will do in close collaboration with ECOWAS, the African Union and other key partners, including the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries and the European Union as they work towards political stability in Guinea-Bissau.
Le Secrétaire général salue le début d’un dialogue inclusif entre les chefs politiques, la société civile et les communautés religieuses bissau-guinéens aujourd’hui en Guinée. Ce dialogue est une première étape décisive dans la mise en œuvre de la feuille de route de la Communauté économique des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (CEDEAO) pour mettre fin à la crise politique, qui a été adoptée par les dirigeants politiques à Bissau le 10 septembre 2016.
Le Secrétaire général remercie le médiateur de la CEDEAO pour la Guinée-Bissau, S.E. M. Alpha Condé, Président de la République de Guinée, d’accueillir les parties et de mener l’effort régional pour mettre en œuvre la feuille de route rapidement. Il encourage toutes les parties à s’engager dans des discussions constructives pour accomplir ensemble des progrès décisifs dans les prochains jours, afin de mettre fin à l’impasse politique qui prévaut dans le pays depuis août 2015.
Le Secrétaire général a demandé à son Représentant spécial et Chef du Bureau intégré des Nations Unies pour la consolidation de la paix en Guinée-Bissau (UNIOGBIS), M. Modibo I. Touré, de continuer à coopérer étroitement avec toutes les parties prenantes en Guinée-Bissau. Il le fera en collaboration étroite avec la CEDEAO, l’Union africaine, et les partenaires clés, y compris la Communauté des pays de langue portugaise et l’Union européenne, dans leurs efforts en faveur de la stabilité politique en Guinée-Bissau.
On the morning of Friday February 19, 2016, Party leaders of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) were holding a meeting at the Party Headquarters in preparation for a press conference. We intended to show the gross discrepancy between the presidential election results that the Electoral Commission was releasing and those that we had in our possession and knew to be correct.
Before the press conference, heavily armed police, operating on wrong and illegal orders from President Yoweri Museveni’s regime, invaded and disrupted our meeting and arrested Dr. Kizza Besigye, our party presidential candidate, Ms. Ingrid Turinawe, our Secretary for Mobilization, and me. We were taken to Naggalama Police Station in Mukono where we were detained all day without any charges being laid.
In the evening of the same day, Dr. Besigye and I were told that we were free to go but that Ms. Turinawe would continue to be detained.
If our arrest was intended to intimidate the leaders of FDC, the effect was to strengthen our resolve and our single-minded focus on fighting for our rights, our freedoms and democratic governance in Uganda.
One thing that all Ugandans must understand is that our fight for our rights, our freedoms and democratic governance cannot be compromised. These are the objectives on which we have focused our efforts and we shall continue to do so. Our energies, efforts and attention must remain on the achievement of those objectives.
At a strategic level, the situation is highly in our favour. At a tactical level, where Museveni still has some temporary advantages, we must focus on shifting that imbalance in our favor.
I thank all Ugandan people who participated fully and honorably in this exercise and were bold in voting and in guarding our votes throughout the country. I thank you for the sacrifices you have made. I urge you not to lose hope or to be discouraged by this temporary upset. We must all remain focused on our objectives.
I call upon all Ugandans and the international community to reject and condemn the fraud that has been committed and to expose it to the fullest extent possible.
Lastly, we must all be psychologically prepared for the occurrence of more illegal arrests and other forms of intimidation. Clearly what we are witnessing in the choreographed announcements of the fraudulent results is part of a creeping political coup d’état. However, we have no doubt at all that the Ugandan people will ultimately prevail.
Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu
Forum for Democratic Change
The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Vitaly I. Churkin (Russian Federation):
The members of the Security Council took note of the appointment on 17 September, of Mr. Carlos Correia, first Vice-President of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde, the majority political party in the National Assembly, as Prime Minister of Guinea-Bissau. The members of the Security Council emphasized this as an important step towards bringing an end to the political crisis that has prevailed in the country since mid-August. The members of the Security Council stressed the importance of the appointment of a new Government as soon as possible, and in full respect with constitutional procedures.
The members of the Security Council commended the respect for the Constitution and the rule of law demonstrated by the Bissau-Guinean actors, including the non-interference of the security forces in the political situation in the country and the restraint shown in this regard. The members of the Security Council further commended the peaceful way Guinea-Bissau’s population is following the political situation in the country.
The members of the Security Council again recalled resolution 2203 (2015) and stressed the importance of national reconciliation, inclusive dialogue and good governance. In this regard, they urged the Bissau-Guinean actors to uphold and proceed with continuous and constructive dialogue, within the established constitutional parameters and with respect for the separation of powers, in order to strengthen democratic governance and work towards consensus on key political issues, particularly with regards to the implementation of the necessary urgent reforms.
The members of the Security Council recalled the Council’s commitment to support the authorities of Guinea-Bissau and noted that the pledges made at the March Brussels International Donor Conference required a stable political environment in order to most effectively materialize. The members of the Security Council further noted that courageous and inclusive political steps should be taken to help realize these pledged commitments, in the best interests of all Bissau-Guineans.
The members of the Security Council commended the coordinated approach and common messaging from regional and international actors, including the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union, the United Nations, the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries and the European Union throughout this period. They further highlighted the efforts of Presidents Macky Sall of Senegal, Alpha Condé of the Republic of Guinea, and Olusegun Obasanjo, Special Envoy of President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, to facilitate dialogue in Guinea-Bissau.
The members of the Security Council also welcomed the decision taken by the Extraordinary Session of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Governments held in Dakar on 12 September 2015, to extend the ECOWAS Security Mission in Guinea-Bissau’s mandate until June 2016 and recalled the provisions of resolution 2203 (2015) in this regard. In this respect, they commended the decision of the European Union to provide financial support to this Mission.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their full support for the key role and active engagement of Miguel Trovoada, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS), including his good offices and close coordination with the international community.