n Conflict Trends - Managing complex political dilemmas in West Africa : ECOWAS and the 2012 crisis in Guinea-Bissau

Volume 2013, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1561-9818


This article examines the initiatives and actions undertaken by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) under its normative frameworks on democracy and good governance to respond to the 2012 political crisis in Guinea-Bissau. Since independence in 1974 from Portugal and the end of armed conflict that confronted the country between 1998 and 1999, Guinea-Bissau has never shown signs of political stability, despite the sustained efforts by ECOWAS and other international partners to restore durable peace in the country. Indeed, it remains one of the countries in West Africa where no democratically elected president has ever completed a term in office since independence. The most recent development of this was in April 2012, when the army staged a military coup d'état that suspended the country's second round of presidential elections, which were scheduled for 29 April 2012. The military coup represented yet another major setback in the country's quest to curb its long history of misrule and political instability. Constitutional order has still not been restored, but there is a transitional government in place that is working towards legislative and presidential elections in November 2013.

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