JOINT ECOWAS-AFRICAN UNION-UNITED NATONS HIGH-LEVEL SOLIDARITY MISSION FOR THE PROMOTION OF A CREDIBLE, TRANSPARENT AND PEACEFUL PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN THE REPUBLIC OF GUINEA
1. As part of the preventive diplomacy efforts of ECOWAS, AU and the UN geared towards ensuring the holding of a credible, transparent and peaceful presidential election on 18 October 2020 in the Republic of Guinea, a Joint High-Level Solidarity Mission was undertaken to the Republic of Guinea from 30th September to 4th October 2020.
2. The joint Mission was a follow-up to:
- The joint ECOWAS-AU-UN virtual pre-dialogue consultations and the Virtual Ministerial Consultative meeting held with Guinean stakeholders from 2nd to 7th July and on 15th August 2020, respectively;
- The validation of the list of candidates by the Constitutional Court;
- The commencement of the electoral campaigns; and
- The public presentation of the outcomes of the audit of the voters register in the presence of the Diplomatic Corps, political parties and the national and international media.
3. The objective of the joint Mission was to deepen engagement with various political actors and stakeholders in the electoral process, with a view to ensuring a credible, transparent, inclusive and violence-free election.
4. The joint Mission delegation included the following:
- H.E. Shirley Ayorkor BOTCHWEY, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of the Republic of Ghana and the Chairperson of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers;
- H.E. Alpha BARRY, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Burkina Faso;
- H.E. Jean-Claude KASSI BROU, President of the ECOWAS Commission;
- H.E. Mohamed Ibn CHAMBAS, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS);
- H.E. Minata Samate CESSOUMA, Commissioner, Political Affairs, African Union Commission
- General Francis A. BEHANZIN, ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security.
5. During its stay in Conakry, the joint Mission was received in audience by His Excellency Prof. Alpha Conde, President of the Republic. The President of the Republic welcomed the members of the joint Mission and expressed his gratitude to them for the solidarity they are providing to Guinea. The President of the Republic reaffirmed to the Mission his determination to promote peace in Guinea and the entire sub-region. In this regard, he assured the Mission that he would spare no effort to ensure the holding of a peaceful and transparent election in Guinea.
6. The joint Mission held consultations with several political actors and stakeholders in Guinea, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Guineans Abroad, the Minister of Security and Civil Protection, the Group of African Ambassadors accredited to Guinea, members of the Group of 5 (G5), the political party members of the ruling coalition, the republican opposition, coalition of opposition candidates, civil society organizations under the umbrella of the National Front for the Defence of the Constitution (FNDC), religious leaders, women and youth associations.
7. The joint Mission also held consultations with the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), the High Authority for Communication (HAC) and the Constitutional Court on the state of preparations for the presidential election of 18th October 2020.
8. The joint Mission welcomed the commitment of the authorities to promote a credible and peaceful election. It also welcomed the progress made in the preparations for the various technical aspects of the election. It welcomed the audit of the register, which should enable the holding of credible elections
9. The joint Mission expressed deep concern about the prevailing mistrust among the stakeholders. The joint Mission strongly condemned the violence and hate speech with a particular ethnic undertone, which could encourage violence.
10. The joint Mission expressed its condolences to the families of the victims of this violence. It calls on the authorities to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of these acts.
11. The joint Mission also urges the authorities to secure the electoral process as well as the preservation of the physical safety of the candidates and their supporters before, during and after the election, and more broadly, the respect of human rights.
12. The joint Mission reiterates the need for dialogue among the candidates and political actors as well as the urgent signing of the code of good conduct before the election and urges the candidates to refrain from announcing the results before the organs legally mandated to do so.
13. The joint Mission calls on the Defence and Security Forces to act professionally in securing the election and to avoid excessive use of force.
14. The joint Mission calls on the candidates and all political actors, including INEC, to strictly comply with the health protocols related to the Covid-19 throughout the electoral process. It encourages the CENI to continue discussions with the various candidates with a view to finding solutions to the outstanding issues, particularly the need to display the voters list and to ensure that result sheets are made available to party agents.
15. The Joint Mission announced the deployment of ECOWAS and African Union observers in the coming days in Guinea to contribute to a credible and transparent election.
16. The delegation expresses sincere gratitude to the Guinean authorities for the warm and fraternal welcome and for all the facilities put at their disposal for the Mission.