Enabling the ECOWAS Mission in Guinea-Bissau (ECOMIB) to provide security and, following the restoration of constitutional order, assisting the new authorities to consolidate their authority and address security challenges.
The resurgence of political tensions between the institutions slowed down much needed progress on key reforms in sectors like security that were initiated by the new authorities after the return to democratic rule in 2014. Since 2015, Guinea-Bissau (GB) has faced a new protracted political crisis, in the context of weak institutions and a legacy of political instability.
- Established in 2012 following the coup d'etat, ECOMIB was funded solely by ECOWAS until it introduced a request for APF-funding in 2015;
- Two grant agreements, for a total amount of EUR 15 million, were signed with ECOWAS covering respectively the periods 16/07/2015-30/06/2016 (ECOMIB I) and 1/07/2016-31/12/2017 (ECOMIB II). ECOMIB II was extended twice for two three-month no-cost periods – the contract was initially due to expire on 30/06/2017. The APF support consists mainly of contributions to troop allowances but also includes a mission support team of accountants to improve financial management of the action;
- In February 2018, ECOMIB's mandate was further renewed by ECOWAS Heads of States. ECOWAS requested the renewal of the APF support to the third phase of the mission (April – September 2018, EUR 5 million). This request has been processed by the Commission.
ECOMIB acts as a strong deterrent, dissuading any military intervention and providing a safe and secure environment. In parallel, ECOWAS Heads of States engaged in a high-level ministerial mediation to put an end to the political stalemate and to ensure the implementation of the Conakry Agreement which it brokered.
- The main objective of the EU support to ECOMIB is to enable the mission to provide security and, following the restoration of the constitutional order, assist the new authorities to consolidate their authority and address security challenges;
- The EU support to ECOMIB is intended to enable the mission, through the provision of troop allowances, to conduct patrols, ensure the security of institutions and provided healthcare services, as well as support to the implementation of security sector reform.
ECOMIB provides security and supports the newly elected authorities in consolidating their authority.
The main activities included:
- Military and police patrol all over the country and discussions with populations to address security challenges;
- Secure the presidency and prime minister’s offices and houses, provide a military escort to VIPs, and secure the national electoral commission’s office;
- Provide health care assistance to the population;
- Initiate the demobilisation, reconversion and socio-economic reintegration of the security forces and develop a training plan for military and police.
ECOMIB's total strength evolved from 681 uniformed elements in 2015 to 476 troops in 2017, including 282 to 147 policemen, from three countries (Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Senegal).