Gambia’s isolated dictator Yahya Jammeh, has been excluded from an ECOWAS three man delegation—consisting mainly African Heads of State to help bring peace in war ravaged Guinea Bissau, as fired Ministers in Bissau have been on strike refusing to vacate the Presidential Palace, the Freedom Newspaper can reveal. The dismissed Ministers are protesting against the firing of the former Prime minister, which they say was unconstitutional.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has delegated the Senegalese President Macky Sall, Guinean President Alpha Conde, and the Sierra Leonean President Ernest Bai Koroma to engage the political leaders of Bissau—with the hope of ending the mounting political tensions in the former Portuguese colony.
The Guinean President Jose Mario Vaz, is not a close ally of The Gambian dictator. He hardly involves Jammeh in Guinea’s internal political matters. Hence Jammeh was excluded from the Bissau peace talks spearheaded by ECOWAS.
It would be recalled Yahya Jammeh was very instrumental in destabilizing Bissau. He has been accused of arming the late General Ansumana Manneh to overthrow the government of former Guinean President Neino Veira. Jammeh was also alleged to have been complicit in the assassination of the late Neino Veira.
A Bissau official speaking to the Voice of America (VOA) Daybreak Africa Program, said the protesting fired Ministers have ran out of food and water. He tells VOA that the Ministers have been sleeping in the Palace without food and water for the past sixteen hours. The official said a local Bissau charity organization even had to supply food and water to the protesting Ministers.
According to the spokesman of the group, President Jose Mario Vaz, has allegedly violated Bissau’s constitution by hiring a new Prime Minister without consulting the main political party, which won the past elections. The official explained that under Bissau law, the party, which emerged with a landslide victory should nominate the Prime Minister and not the President.
The official said he welcomes ECOWAS’S move to send three Heads of State to resolve the looming political crisis. He tells VOA that peace is better than coups adding that the Bissau people have resoundingly voted for democracy in the past elections.
Meanwhile, no date has been set for the ECOWAS delegation’s trip to Bissau. Sources told the Freedom Newspaper that the proposed meeting is likely to take place during the course of the week.
Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai