JOINT PRESS RELEASE ECOWAS-AU-UN - Guinea: Security Sector Reform

4 May 2010

JOINT PRESS RELEASE ECOWAS-AU-UN - Guinea: Security Sector Reform

Conakry, 4 May 2010 – During a ceremony held at the "Palais du Peuple", the assessment report of the security sector in Guinea jointly carried out by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) was formally handed over to General Sékouba Konate, Interim President of the Republic of Guinea.

This assessment is the first step in the security sector reform (SSR) in Guinea. Led by General Lamine Cissé, it was jointly conducted by an ECOWAS -AU-UN team and partially funded by the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund. The team undertook a three month comprehensive diagnosis of the various components of the security sector, including the security and defense forces, judiciary, customs services, financial aspects, civilian control as well as dialogue between civilian and military elements. Before being submitted to the President, the report was validated through national consultations with various stakeholders in Conakry and in the rest of the country, mainly in Mamou, Kankan, Labe and Nzérékoré.

The report makes recommendations for each component of the security sector as well as on cross-cutting issues such as gender and proliferation of small arms. The recommendations providing guidance for the SSR are split between urgent measures and actions to be implemented in the medium or long term. The report establishes that the current situation allows the launch of the reform without delay. Postponing the process would affect the existing momentum supported by both the Guinean authorities and civil society.

All actors of the transition as well as the international community as a whole recognize the importance of reforming the security sector and its instrumental role for the democratic renewal of the country. Being one of the pillars of the transition since the Ouagadougou Declaration of 15 January, 2010, the security sector reform was specifically requested by the highest authorities of Guinea. Since ECOWAS Heads of State decided at the Extraordinary Summit of 17 October, 2009 to design and develop the SSR program in Guinea, the United Nations has mobilized the necessary expertise to support ECOWAS in cooperation with the African Union. The European Union, the United States of America and the International Organization of Francophonie (OIF) also supported the efforts of the joint mission.

Said Djinnit, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for West Africa, handed over the evaluation report to the President Konaté, on behalf of ECOWAS, the AU and the UN, in the presence of Ibrahima Fall, Special Envoy of the AU for Guinea. After the presentation of the Report by General Cissé, Djinnit highlighted in his speech that the Guinean authorities have clearly expressed the political will to do their utmost to ensure an in-depth implementation of the reform. He also praised the courage of the President of the Transition for his continuous commitment, which will contribute to the historical democratic revival and return to constitutional order in Guinea. In his statement, President Konaté thanked the international community for its support to the security sector reform and renewed his determination to hold the Presidential election on 27 June, 2010.

For more information: Laurence Gérard, Public Information Officer, United Nations Office for West Africa
Office: +221 33-869-8560 – Cell: +221 77- 3324928 –