Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - The ECOWAS Commission has named Niger’s former Interim President, Gen. Salou Djibo, as the head of its 80-member Observation Mission to Guinea Bissau's presidential election 18 March.
In a statement obtained by PANA in Lagos Monday, the Commission said Gen. Djibo, who headed Niger’s Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy (CSRD) between February 2010 and April 2011, will head the mission, to be deployed across all the country’s nine regions, including two Islands.
Other members of the mission are drawn from the ECOWAS Council of the Wise, representatives of the ECOWAS Parliament and Community Court of Justice, legal and electoral experts from National Electoral Commissions of Member States, electoral experts from the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre in Accra, Ghana, as well as representatives of civil society organizations in West Africa.
Ahead of the deployment, an ECOWAS fact-finding mission will meet with officials of the National Electoral Commission, the government, security agencies, diplomatic missions and civil society organizations, to exchange views and assess preparations for the election.
The presidential election, which follows the death of President Bacai Sanha 9 January 2012, is considered key to the political stabilization and successful implementation of the road map on the Security Sector Reform (SSR) in Guinea Bissau.
ECOWAS leaders have authorized the release of US$63 million as the region’s contribution to the success of the SSR and mandated the signing of a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding between ECOWAS and the Government of Guinea Bissau to fast-track the implementation of the process.
-0- PANA SEG 12Mar2012