President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Thursday pledged Ghana’s support for Guinea Bissau’s political stability and democratic process, as the troubled West African nation prepares to hold elections in November, this year.
He said Ghana would do all she could to ensure that normalcy was brought to Guinea Bissau and an end to the constitutional crisis for the country to be put back on the road to peace and development.
President Akufo-Addo gave the assurance when the Prime Minister of Guinea Bissau, Mr Aristides Gomes, at the head of a delegation from his country, called on him at the Jubilee House in Accra.
Mr Gomes, in a meeting with the President, appealed to Ghana and members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to lend financial support to Guinea Bissau to enable it to successfully carry out the elections in November.
He told President Akufo-Addo that with the current crisis in Guinea Bissau, coupled with the International Monetary Fund’s restriction on that economy, the country needed more resources to organise the elections.
Mr Gomes disclosed that some countries had given assurances but would be encouraged if ECOWAS also participated financially in that endeavour.
He informed President Akufo-Addo that the political parties in that country had agreed to work together and had signed an agreement to work towards peace and stability.
The Prime Minister said stability in that country would “essentially bring about reforms after the elections, and those reforms, which would be in the areas of defence and security, public administration and justice, would inform constitutional amendments to avoid potential crisis in the future.”
He further asked that the ECOWAS Military Intervention Force in Guinea Bissau be made to stay after the elections until such a time that the reforms were taken to safeguard the stability and peace of the country.
President Akufo-Addo, therefore, promised to push the agenda for support for that country’s election at the next ECOWAS and Africa Union meetings, saying; “I’m confident that something would be done.”
“Everybody is encouraged by you and the manner in which you have come; we recognise that this is a historic opportunity to try and bring this long standing crisis to a closure. So whatever be the case, you can count on me, you can count on Ghana for us to make a strong case as well as the post electoral situation as far as the ECOMOG is concerned.”
The President was emphatic that there was the need to restructure the security forces in Guinea Bissau because “we cannot have a democracy unless the elected leaders of the country are able to control the security and the armed forces and security services…these considerations are very genuine and very necessary.”
“You can count on us; whatever we can do to assist to bring about a positive development in Guinea Bissau we are going to do it,” President Akufo-Addo said.
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