From 18 March Presidential Election to 4 June Security Council briefing
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION (FIRST ROUND)
18 March: Guinea-Bissau citizens peacefully cast their votes in the first round of the presidential election. A few days later, international observers (AU, CPLP, ECOWAS, WAEMU, Nigeria, UK and USA) and experts from the EU and South Africa adjudged the election as transparent and credible.
In the evening of Election Day, Colonel Samba Djal6, former Head of Military Intelligence, was shot dead outside his home. National authorities subsequently publicly stated that the killing was not related to the election; an inquiry was opened.
20 March: Five presidential candidates, including Koumba Yalfi (Independent supported by the the Social Renewal Party – PRS), Serifo Nhamadj 0 (Independent PAIGC candidate), Henrique Rosa (Independent), Afonso Td (PRID) and Serifo Baldÿ (Youth Party), announced that they would reject the election results on the grounds that the election was rigged.
21 March: Provisional results were announced, giving 49% to Carlos Gomes Jfinior and 23% to Koumba Yalfi, requiring a run-off election between the two. The days following the announcement of the results were marked by public statements from the five candidates reiterating their rejection of the results and announcing a boycott of the second round. They also announced their intention to appeal to the Supreme Court.
11 April: The Supreme Court rejected the appeal of electoral fraud lodged by the five presidential candidates. The National Electoral Commission (CNE) announced that the run-off election would take place on 29 April and that a two-week official campaigning would start on 13 April.
INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS’ EFFORTS TOWARDS RESOLVING ELECTORAL
31 March: A joint ECOWAS-AU-UN Mission to Bissau, led by the President of the ECOWAS Commission, met with national stakeholders (the diplomatic corps, Interim President, Government, presidential candidates, the military, the judiciary and civil society) to encourage dialogue and consensus and to urge the group of the five losing presidential candidates to seek
legal recourse to their electoral complaints, to respect the outcome, and to participate in the second round of the presidential election.
2 April: Meeting of the ECOWAS Authority in Dakar. President Alpha Condd of Guinea was appointed as ECOWAS Mediator for Guinea-Bissau crisis. On 3 April President Condÿ called SRSG Mutaboba for a briefing.
4 April: SRSG Mutaboba travelled to Conakry for preliminary consultations with President Condÿ on possible UN support to the mediation process. He also held meetings with the Angolan Minister of Foreign Affairs, who was visiting Conakry.
2, 3, 4 and 9 April: Angolan Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defence held meetings with national authorities and international partners in Bissau regarding Angola’s intention to withdraw the Angolan technical SSR mission (MISSANG) after the military hierarchy had questioned the motive of their country’s assistance to Guinea-Bissau.
12 April: The ECOWAS Mediation, Peace and Security Council (at the level of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, with participation extended to Ministers of Defence) met in Abidjan. During the closing session of this meeting in Abidjan, the military-led coup d’ÿtat erupted in Guinea-Bissan.
COUP D’ETAT AND AFTERMATH
12 April: Military coup. Prime Minister/presidential candidate and Interim President arrested; TV and radio closed down; roads in the capital Bissau and land, sea and air borders closed. Earlier that day, the EU issued a statement expressing concern about the growing political and security crisis, urging the military to remain subordinate to civilian authorities and affirming EU support to the ongoing mediation efforts involving the AU, the CPLP, ECOWAS and the UN. An hour before the coup d’dtat, the five presidential candidates rejecting the 18 March election outcome gave a press conference. Koumba Yalfi announced a boycott of the second round, stated that he would not participate in the electoral campaign scheduled for 13 April, and warned that those doing so would bear responsibility for their actions.
From 12 April and days after the coup: Houses of ousted cabinet ministers were reported looted and high ranking officials of the government and the ruling party took refuge in diplomatic missions in Bissau fearing for their lives.
13 April: A self-styled “Military Command” claimed responsibility for the coup d’6tat; stated that the reason for their action was a “secret agreement” between the Governments of Guinea-Bissau and Angola to deploy forces under an AU mandate to “annihilate” the Guinea-Bissau military. The “Military Command” subsequently issued 22 communiqu6s in total from 13 April
to 22 May to communicate with the population and the international community. The UN Security Council considered the situation in Guinea-Bissau. DPA provided a briefing. The Council issued a press statement in which it strongly condemned the forcible seizure of power from the legitimate Government of Guinea-Bissau.
ECOWAS issued a statement to condemn the military action; demand the immediate restoration of constitutional order and the completion of the electoral process; reiterate principle of ‘zero tolerance’ of unconstitutional seizures of power. The UN Secretary-General, the Guinea-Bissau Configuration of the PBC, the AU, the EU, the CPLP and the International Organization of La Francophonie made similar condemnation. The AU, the CPLP and La francophonie subsequently suspended Guinea-Bissau, and the World Bank, the IMF and the AfDB suspended their cooperation with the country. To date, targeted sanctions have also been applied by the EU and the UN.
16-17 April: An ECOWAS mission met with the “Military Command” and other national stakeholders and international partners in order to transmit firm ECOWAS statements against the coup.
18 April: The “Military Command” and 21 political parties signed the “Agreement for the stabilization and maintenance of constitutional and democratic order” for a two-year transitional period which was rejected after condemnation, including by ECOWAS and Serifo Nhamadjo who declined the offer of the presidency.
19 April: The UN Security Council considered the situation in Guinea-Bissau. SRSG Mutaboba provided a briefing, as well as the Guinea-Bissau legitimate Minister of Foreign Affairs, representatives of ECOWAS and the CPLP, the Minister of State and Foreign Affairs of Portugal, and the Chair of the Guinea-Bissau Configuration of the PBC.
21 April: The UN Security Council issued a Presidential Statement (SiPRST/2012/15), in whichit strongly condemned the military coup, demanded the immediate restoration of the constitutional order, the reinstatement of the legitimate democratic Government, and the resumption of the electoral process interrupted by the military coup.
24 April: The AU Peace and Security Commission met at the level of Ministers of Foreign Affairs in Addis Ababa and reiterated its condemnation of the coup and the restoration of constitutional order in Guinea Bissau. SRSGs Mutaboba and Djinnit briefed the Council.
26 April: Summit of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in Abidjan. The ECOWAS leaders reiterated their firm position in alignment with international partners; confirmed their intention to deploy an ECOWAS Standby Force in Guinea-Bissau; established a Regional Contact Group on Guinea-Bissau (led by Nigeria); and urged all stakeholders to submit to the
mediation efforts of ECOWAS with a view to agreeing on the modalities for a consensual transition through the holding of elections within twelve months. Both SRSGs Djinnit and Mutaboba addressed the Summit.
29 April: ECOWAS Regional Contact Group meeting with Guinea-Bissau national stakeholders, including the PAIGC, in Banjul. The meeting chaired by the Gambian President was inconclusive. Meetings including the PAIGC continued in Bissau under the facilitation of the Bishop of Bissau to find a consensus on the selection of an interim President. The PAIGC insisted on the reinstatement of Interim President Pereira, while the military and opposition parties insisted on the designation of Serifo Nhamadjo, the interim Speaker, as the Interim President.
30 April: Secretary-General’s report on efforts towards the re-establishment of constitutional order in Guinea-Bissau, in accordance with Security Council presidential statement of 21 April 2012 (S/PRST/2012/15).
3 May: ECOWAS Extraordinary Heads of State and Government Summit is held in Dakar. ECOWAS leaders reiterated the setting up of a twelve-month transition to be led by a transitional president elected through a vote by a new National Parliament leadership that would include the majority party PAIGC: the elected Speaker would become the Interim President while the deputy Speaker would take over as the Speaker.
7 May: The UN Security Council considered the 30 April Secretary-General’s report on Guinea-Bissau. SRSG Mutaboba provided a briefing, as well as the Guinea-Bissau legitimate Minister of Foreign Affairs, representatives of ECOWAS and the CPLP, and the Chair of the Guinea-Bissau Configuration of the PBC.
8 May: The UN Security Council issued a press statement, recalling its 21 April PRST and reiterated its readiness to consider targeted sanctions against the perpetrators and supporters of the military coup, should the situation remain unresolved.
9 May: the Military Command sent a list of 57 persons banned from leaving the country to the Migration and Border Department. The list includes members of Carlos Gomes J6nior’s government, PAIGC leaders and State officials, as well as some of the late President Malam Bacai Sanha’s advisors. The armed forces spokesperson said inclusion of individuals who were not members of the former government was a mistake and only the members of the former
government had to stay in the country until the transfer of power.
10 May” An ECOWAS delegation led by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Nigeria and composed of the Minister of Defence of C6te d’Ivoire, Special Advisor to President Ouattara, and the Chiefs of Defence Staff of C6te d’Ivoire and Nigeria arrived in Bissau to continue ECOWAS mediation in the crisis. The talks were attended by the PAIGC National Secretary, the full military hierarchy, the Forum of opposition political parties, the five dissenting presidential
candidates, including former President Koumba Yalit, civil society representatives and the interfaith mediation group.
At a press conference held in the course of the day, the head of the delegation ruled out the return of Interim President Raimundo Pereira and Prime Minister Carlos Gomes JOanior to Guinea-Bissau. Early in the following day, he announced that during consultations between ECOWAS and national stakeholders, it had been decided that Interim Speaker Serifo Nhamadjo would assume the function of Interim President in accordance with Article 71 of Guinea-Bissau’s Constitution. He called on Mr. Nhamadjo, in his capacity as Interim President, to conduct consultations to appoint a consensual Prime Minister who would form a government of national unity, and stated that ECOWAS would send troops to secure the 12-month transitional period, protect the population and undertake security sector reform following a formal written request
from the national authorities.
The Armed Forces Chief of General Staff, General Ant6nio Indjai, welcomed the ECOWAS’ proposals and expressed the readiness of the military to welcome the ECOWAS Force immediately. On the other hand, the head of the PAIGC delegation rejected the solution put forward by ECOWAS, which he considered unconstitutional and as a way to reward the coup d’dtat. The civil society delegation also rejected the ECOWAS’ proposal and expressed its disagreement with ECOWAS imposing a solution based on its “reading” of the Guinea-Bissau Constitution.
11 May: The ECOWAS delegation confirmed the decision on a 12-month transition led by Interim President Serifo Nhamadjo. The PAIGC rejected the “imposition of a pseudo-President of the Republic by ECOWAS” and ECOWAS as a mediator. The PAIGC position was echoed by a coalition of parties and organizations against the coup d’dtat (FRENAGOLPE).
11 and 12 May: The Guinea-Bissau League of Human Rights and the Movement of Civil Society for Peace, Democracy and Development condemned the ECOWAS proposal.
14 May: The third parliamentary session was convened but had no quorum for the first week due to the PAIGC boycott. PAIGC Parliamentarians started attending the third ordinary parliamentary session on 21 May. Eighty-nine of 100 Parliamentarians took part in the session. However, no progress was made as PAIGC Parliamentarians proposed discussions on the
political and social situation in the country following the Coup while PRS Parliamentarians
16 May: The Interim President of the National Assembly and 17 out 30 political parties signed a “Political Transition Pact”. The signatories to the Pact agreed to convert the function of “Interim President” into “Transitional President”, vesting Mr. Nhamadjo with the full powers of a 4 President except those to nominate and dismiss a Prime Minister. The Pact extends the legislature, which was dueto expire in November 2012, until the completion of the legislative
elections and the swearing-in of Parliamentarians. It also states that the Transitional President and Prime Minister would not be allowed to run for office in the next presidential and legislative elections. The transition period will last for 12 months as from 16 May, during which presidential and legislative elections will be held. The PRS of former President Koumba Yalfi was the only party signatory to the Pact that is represented in Parliament (28 parliamentary seats), while the PAIGC continued to object to the transitional arrangements. Mr. Rui Duarte de Barros (PRS) was appointed Prime Minister.
17 May: The first contingent of the ECOWAS forces ECOMIB, composed of 73 members of the Burkina Faso Formed Police Unit, arrived at Bissau. The Force is mandated to provide security for the departure of the Angolan Security Sector Reform (SSR) mission (MISSANG), secure the transitional period, and support efforts in the area of SSR within the terms of the ECOWASCPLP
road map. An additional 64 security personnel from Burkina Faso, including the force commander, Col. Gnibanga Baro, arrived at Bissau on 20 May. The ECOWAS force will be based in Cumdrd (35 km from Bissau). Following intense negotiations with political stakeholders and the military junta, the Transitional President swore in Mr. Rui Duarte Barros as Transitional Prime Minister.
18 May: The Council issued resolution S/RES/2048(2012). The National Assembly, the “Military Command” and the political parties that are signatories of the “Political Transition Pact” signed a “Political Agreement”, determining the general lines of the Transitional Government Programme. The Agreement includes a call for amnesty for the perpetrators of the 12 April coup and provides for the National Electoral Commission to undertake biometric voter registration.
19 May: ECOWAS Mediation, Peace and Security Council met in Abidjan to discuss the political situation in Guinea-Bissau and Mali. SRSG Djinnit represented the United Nations. According to a press release on 20 May, regarding Guinea-Bissau, the Council endorsed the ongoing transitional process, demanded the immediate reconvening of the National Assembly to extend its mandate and elect a new Speaker, and also the establishment of the remaining organs of the transition, including a broad-based government. The Council further urged Member States that had pledged troops to the ECOWAS mission in Guinea-Bissau to expedite actions for full deployment and requested immediate financial assistance to Guinea-Bissau to meet
21 May: SRSG Mutaboba briefed Dakar-resident ambassadors and representatives.
22 May: The “Military Command” stated that they had handed over power back to civilians and were henceforth returning to the barracks. Transitional President Serifo Nhamadjo appointed the cabinet of 15 Ministers and 13 Secretaries of State, including two women, to form a transitional government. The Ministry of Women, Family, Social Cohesion and Fight against Poverty was abolished. The Spokesperson for the “Military Command”, Lt. Col. Daba Na Walna, held what he said
would be the last press conference of the “Military Command” and announced the return of the military to the barracks.
23 May: The Transitional Government was sworn in. The Ministry of Women was abolished, which raises concern regarding the implementation of the National Plan for Gender Equality and Equity. The Transitional President set out the following immediate challenges: payment of salaries to civil servants; saving the current school year and improving the judiciary sector and fighting corruption. The transitional Prime Minister called on the population to be reconciled and civil servants to resume their fimctions as from 28 May. The trade unions called off the general strike 0n 25 May. Mr. Barros also said that all the agreements signed would be respected.
23 and 25 May: SRSG Mutaboba chaired meetings of international partners, ambassadors and representatives. The meeting of 25 May was also attended by the visiting CPLP Executive Secretary with the objective of discussing ways forward in implementing UNSC Resolution 2048(2012), in particular its paragraphs 2 and 3. During the 25 May meeting, a demonstration organized in front of UNIOGBIS compound by some members of FRENAGOLPE, AJOPAR and Women’s Movement was violently repressed
by the National Guard, indiscriminately beating the protesters.
24 May” The Ministry of Public Function was vandalized by unknown people and office equipment stolen. The database room containing the information of biometric census of civil servants was not damaged.
25 May” The Transitional Government held its first Council of Ministers, chaired by the Transitional President. The media reported that the former Armed Forces Chief of General Staff, Vice Admiral Zamora Induta, who had since 21 March sought refuge at the premises of the EU Delegation in Bissau, had arrived in Banjul, Gambia.
30 May 2012″ As of 30 May, 437 military and police officers from Burkina Faso, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo have been deployed to Guinea-Bissau as part of the 629-authorized ECOWAS Force, in accordance with the 3 May decision of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government. The withdrawal of members of the Angolan SSR mission (MISSANG) from Bissau is expected to commence by 10 June.
31 May: The EU decided to strengthen sanctions against the military in Guinea-Bissau, adding 15 people to the list of individuals banned from entering the EU territory and subject to freezing of assets in Europe.