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Procedure : 2009/2554(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
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Texts tabled :

B6-0120/2009

Debates :

PV 12/03/2009 - 13.1
CRE 12/03/2009 - 13.1

Votes :

PV 12/03/2009 - 14.1

Texts adopted :

P6_TA(2009)0143

Texts adopted
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Thursday, 12 March 2009 - Strasbourg Final edition
Guinea-Bissau
P6_TA(2009)0143B6-0115, 0116, 0117, 0119 and 0120/2009

European Parliament resolution of 12 March 2009 on Guinea-Bissau

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the EU Presidency statement of 2 March 2009 on the tragic events in Guinea-Bissau,

–   having regard to the presidential elections of June and July 2005 and the parliamentary elections of 16 November 2008 in Guinea-Bissau,

–   having regard to the United Nations Security Council statement of 3 March 2009 on the current political crisis in Guinea-Bissau,

–   having regard to the statement of the Commission of the African Union (AU) of 2 March 2009,

–   having regard to Rule 115(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas on 2 March 2009 President of Guinea-Bissau João Bernardo Vieira was shot by renegade soldiers, the day after a bomb attack which killed the army's chief of staff, General Batista Tagmé Na Waié; whereas the killings have removed two very powerful figures and rivals who had escaped several assassination attempts in the past four months,

B.   whereas the attacks have not been seen as a coup, and whereas the AU's Peace and Security Council has not suspended Guinea-Bissau as it did neighbouring Guinea and Mauritania after coups last year,

C.   whereas the recently elected Speaker of the National People's Assembly, Raimundo Pereira, was sworn in as President for a limited period pending elections, as stipulated by the Constitution; whereas Raimundo Pereira has appealed to the international community to help stabilise the country,

D.   whereas Guinea-Bissau's decades of political instability have led the country into a deep crisis, marked by a lack of access to clean water, health and education and by civil servants in many ministries facing months of wage arrears, and whereas the country is one of a handful of states on the agenda of the United Nations (UN) Peacebuilding Commission, which aims to help poor countries avoid sliding back into war or chaos; whereas the assassinations have come at a time of increased EU and international engagement aimed at building a democratic and stable Guinea-Bissau,

E.   whereas since June 2008 the EU has been providing advice and assistance in support of security sector reform in Guinea-Bissau through its ESDP mission "EU Security Sector Reform (SSR) Guinea-Bissau",

F.   whereas the November 2008 parliamentary elections were an important test for Guinea-Bissau, whose transition to democratic rule badly needed fresh impetus; whereas the elections were praised by both citizens and international observers, particularly by the EU Election Observation Mission, and paved the way for enhanced UN support for the country's peace-building efforts; whereas, during the election period, the military kept out of the electoral process and remained committed to guaranteeing a peaceful environment,

G.   whereas the assassinations appear to be related to political tension stemming from old rivalries, ethnic divisions and instability in the military ranks, and the ever-increasing presence of drug trafficking interests in the country, making up a very complex and dangerous background situation that constantly undermines the ability of the country to recover,

H.   whereas Guinea-Bissau faces a drug trafficking problem and serves as major drugs transit point between South America and Europe, and whereas drug trafficking constitutes a serious threat to the political stability of the country,

I.   whereas the growing evidence of drug trafficking in and through the region shows how it has become a major danger to the whole of West Africa and also already poses a huge threat to the European Union by affecting neighbouring regions,

1.  Strongly condemns the assassinations of the President of Guinea-Bissau, João Bernardo Vieira, and the army's chief of staff, General Tagmé Na Waié;

2.  Offers its sincere condolences to the families of the late President João Bernardo Vieira and the late General Tagmé Na Waié and to the people of Guinea-Bissau;

3.  Urges the Guinea-Bissau authorities to thoroughly investigate these crimes and to bring those responsible to justice, and calls on the international community to exert all the necessary influence and to provide all the support required to achieve that objective; points out that the cases involving the assassinations of Generals Ansumane Mané (2000) and Veríssimo Correia Seabra (2004) have not yet been cleared up, nor have the respective killers been located, indicted and tried; stresses that impunity is not an answer;

4.  Welcomes the army's pledge to respect Guinea-Bissau's Constitution, and urges strict respect for the country's constitutional order;

5.  Urges all the parties to resolve their disputes by political and peaceful means within the framework of Guinea-Bissau's institutions and opposes any attempt to change the government by unconstitutional means;

6.  Hopes that presidential elections will be held within 60 days, as stipulated in the Constitution, and calls on the Member States and the international community to make sure Guinea-Bissau receives the financial and technical support it needs in order to conduct credible elections;

7.  Stresses that there is a danger that Guinea-Bissau will remain unstable and unable to cope with rampant corruption or change its status as a key drugs transit country as long as its institutions remain structurally weak;

8.  Calls on the Council, the Commission, the Member States, the United Nations, the AU, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP) and other members of the international community to monitor developments in Guinea-Bissau, to assist in preserving its constitutional order and to continue to support peace-building efforts in the country;

9.  Calls for immediate talks between the various political factions in the country with a view to producing a programme to which all stakeholders commit, which would include speeding up security sector reform, a revised electoral law, public administration reform, anti-corruption measures, macroeconomic stabilisation and consultation with civil society about national reconciliation;

10.  Welcomes the decision taken on 3 March 2009 by ECOWAS to despatch a ministerial delegation to Guinea-Bissau, comprising ministers from Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, the Gambia and Senegal, accompanied by the President of the ECOWAS Commission, and the similar decision taken the same day by the CPLP to send a political mission to Guinea-Bissau, led by the Portuguese Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, both involving all stakeholders in an effort to restore confidence among political actors, security forces and civil society and return the country to constitutional normality;

11.  Draws attention, with deep concern, to the threat that the transhipment of drugs from as far afield as Colombia and Afghanistan and human trafficking poses to the consolidation of peace in Guinea-Bissau and to the stability of the West African region, and calls on the United Nations agencies, with appropriate support from ECOWAS, to develop a regional plan of action to address this challenge;

12.  Calls on the UN Peacebuilding Commission to help keep promised donor aid (both financial and technical) flowing, in particular for security sector and administrative reforms and the fight against drug trafficking;

13.  Calls on the Council and Commission to keep providing advice and assistance in support of the security sector reform in Guinea-Bissau through its ESDP mission "EU SSR Guinea-Bissau" and to report on the progress already achieved;

14.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments of the Member States, the Secretaries-General of the UN and ECOWAS, the AU institutions, the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, the CPLP Secretariat and the Government and Parliament of Guinea-Bissau.

Last updated: 1 December 2009Legal notice