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We congratulate and welcome Vaz

Jun 2, 2014, 9:41 AM

Coming to visit after the May 30 ECOWAS summit in Accra, Jose Mario Vaz’s coming is very timely.

We understand that Senegal was the first state he visited soon after his election. He is now coming to The Gambia.

It is natural for him to do so, considering that both states have played a crucial role in the peace process in Guinea – with The Gambia, for example, convening a “Friends of Guinea Bissau” committee during its two-year presidency of the UN Security Council.

Big brother Nigeria and close neighbour Guinea Conakry also played a pivotal role in bring the political process in Bissau to this stage, as highlighted in our lead story, and they too deserve to be commended.

We further understand that ECOWAS helped fund the recent transition process in Guinea Bissau, including the elections.

It all shows that the neighbours of Guinea Bissau, in particular, and ECOWAS, in general, with the backing of the African Union and UN are determined to ensure that peace and stability prevail in Bissau.

Thus, as mentioned in our story on the Vaz visit, ECOWAS has welcomed “the successful conclusion of the transition process in Guinea Bissau which resulted in the smooth holding of the general elections in transparent and peaceful conditions.”

In their communiqués issued at the end of the latest extraordinary ECOWAS summit held in Accra, Ghana, on Friday 30 May, ECOWAS leaders commended “Manuel Sérifo Nhamajo, interim president, the transitional government, the popular National Assembly, the electoral management bodies, the political parties and the entire people of Guinea Bissau for their self-sacrifice and determination in bringing the transitional process to a successful end.”

The ECOWAS Authority also extended warm congratulations to H.E. José Mario Vaz, President-elect of the Republic of Guinea Bissau.

The Authority has advised Vaz: “To forge national consensus and mobilize all the forces in the country towards the urgent post-electoral task in Guinea Bissau.”

The incoming administration must also “adopt an all-inclusive governance system.”

The new authorities in Bissau should also “adopt and implement a comprehensive reform agenda, with the

assistance of ECOWAS and all the international community, encompassing national dialogue and reconciliation, economic recovery, reform of state’s institutions, and processes to sustain the stabilization and recovery efforts”, according to ECOWAS leaders.

We hope the above recommendations are applied by VAZ and his team, in their new government, so as to finally save Guinea Bissau, which if reports are to be believed had gone to the brink of becoming a failed state.

‘‘If a country doesn’t recognize minority rights and human rights, including women’s rights, you will not have the kind of stability and prosperity that is possible.’’

Hillary Clinton