Showing posts tagged as "Vincent Foucher"

Showing posts tagged Vincent Foucher

21 Nov
Olivier Rogez

Vincent Foucher, analyste de l'International Crisis Group

La Guinée a désormais une assemblée nationale élue. Vendredi dernier la Cour suprême a vidé le contentieux électoral, rejetant les recours déposés par les partis. Pour la première fois depuis six ans, la nation dispose d’une assemblée nationale légitime.

C’est donc la fin d’une longue transition ouverte un an avant la mort du président Lansana Conté. Mais ce scrutin, contesté par l’opposition ne risque-t-il pas d’ouvrir une nouvelle ère de défiance entre l’opposition et la majorité ?

Olivier Rogez a posé la question à Vincent Foucher, analyste de l’International Crisis Group, spécialiste de l’Afrique occidentale.

Photo: Reuters

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11 Nov

Guinea-Bissau trudging along in crisis | IRIN

The delay of polls in Guinea-Bissau signals the likely extension of a transition period currently scheduled to wind down on 31 December. The transition follows an April 2012 coup that has weakened the economy, caused dire food insecurity and repelled major donors.

FULL ARTICLE (globalsecurity.org)

7 Oct
Guinée: Il faut (encore une fois) sauver les élections | Vincent Foucher
Le 28 septembre, les Guinéens ont voté dans le calme pour élire leurs députés. Dans la capitale Conakry au moins, la participation paraissait significative. Parfois dès six heures du matin, les gens se pressaient pour voter, patientant dans de longues queues. Face à des problèmes organisationnels considérables et dans des conditions matérielles difficiles, membres des bureaux de vote et délégués des partis se débattaient et débattaient avec gravité et sérieux, le code électoral à la main. En ville sans doute plus que dans les campagnes, et à Conakry sans doute plus que dans les régions, observateurs nationaux et internationaux, experts électoraux et journalistes ont pu relayer les multiples problèmes au fil de la journée, et bien des conflits ont pu être ainsi désamorcés. Au soir du scrutin, la fierté et le soulagement étaient palpables.
Lire tout l’article (allAfrica) 
Photo: United Nations Development Programme/Flickr

Guinée: Il faut (encore une fois) sauver les élections | Vincent Foucher

Le 28 septembre, les Guinéens ont voté dans le calme pour élire leurs députés. Dans la capitale Conakry au moins, la participation paraissait significative. Parfois dès six heures du matin, les gens se pressaient pour voter, patientant dans de longues queues. Face à des problèmes organisationnels considérables et dans des conditions matérielles difficiles, membres des bureaux de vote et délégués des partis se débattaient et débattaient avec gravité et sérieux, le code électoral à la main. En ville sans doute plus que dans les campagnes, et à Conakry sans doute plus que dans les régions, observateurs nationaux et internationaux, experts électoraux et journalistes ont pu relayer les multiples problèmes au fil de la journée, et bien des conflits ont pu être ainsi désamorcés. Au soir du scrutin, la fierté et le soulagement étaient palpables.

Lire tout l’article (allAfrica) 

Photo: United Nations Development Programme/Flickr

1 Aug

Ethnic violence intensifies in Guinea as legislative elections approach | Jerome McDonnell

On July 14th, the killing of a young man at a gas station triggered days of intense violence in Nzérékoré and Koulé, cities in southeastern Guinea Conakry. Clashes resulted in the death of around 100 people, according to government spokesman Albert Damatang Camara. The violence came shortly after President Alpha Condé announced that long-delayed legislative elections would finally occur on September 24th. The last legislative elections were in 2002, and the road to holding new legislative elections has been a rocky one. Within the past eleven years, Guinea has experienced the death of former president Lansana Conté, a military coup and a presidential election tainted by accusations of vote rigging. Ethnic politics now play a part in Guinea’s political crisis. Vincent Foucher, senior analyst for International Crisis Group, puts recent clashes into context for us. 

FULL EPISODE (WBEZ Worldview) 

21 Jun
Guinea: President Condé Must Assume His Responsibilities, So Should the Opposition | allAfrica
By Vincent Foucher, Crisis Group’s West Africa Senior Analyst
In Conakry after a bleak period in May, when demonstrations marked disagreement between the government and opposition over impending legislative elections, negotiations have begun and political tension in Guinea has eased. Differences remain, however, over the electoral process. Both sides need to compromise if another round of political violence is to be avoided.
Eleven years after its last legislative elections and two and a half years after Alpha Condé’s presidential victory in a disputed vote, Guinea still lacks a National Assembly. The opposition, led by Cellou Dalein Diallo, Sidya Touré and Lansana Kouyaté and with significant support from centrists, has accused the government of manipulating the electoral process to guarantee its victory. The presidential team, for its part, has claimed that the opposition does not want to contest an election it will lose and prefers to ruin the process. The accusations on both sides are severe and dialogue has been difficult. The opposition has staged street protests in which several dozen supporters of the opposition and a few members of the security forces have died since 2011.
FULL ARTICLE (allAfrica)
Photo: Julien Harneis/Flickr

Guinea: President Condé Must Assume His Responsibilities, So Should the Opposition | allAfrica

By Vincent Foucher, Crisis Group’s West Africa Senior Analyst

In Conakry after a bleak period in May, when demonstrations marked disagreement between the government and opposition over impending legislative elections, negotiations have begun and political tension in Guinea has eased. Differences remain, however, over the electoral process. Both sides need to compromise if another round of political violence is to be avoided.

Eleven years after its last legislative elections and two and a half years after Alpha Condé’s presidential victory in a disputed vote, Guinea still lacks a National Assembly. The opposition, led by Cellou Dalein Diallo, Sidya Touré and Lansana Kouyaté and with significant support from centrists, has accused the government of manipulating the electoral process to guarantee its victory. The presidential team, for its part, has claimed that the opposition does not want to contest an election it will lose and prefers to ruin the process. The accusations on both sides are severe and dialogue has been difficult. The opposition has staged street protests in which several dozen supporters of the opposition and a few members of the security forces have died since 2011.

FULL ARTICLE (allAfrica)

Photo: Julien Harneis/Flickr

10 Jun
Cocaine-related graft erodes Guinea-Bissau governance | IRIN News
Drug-trafficking in Guinea-Bissau is undermining the country’s stability, distorting its economy and intensifying the competition for power among political and military leaders, say analysts and observers. 
“Because drug-trafficking stokes instability, it affects every citizen. Moreover it gives the country a deplorable image, which tends to discourage donors. In a country where access to credit is difficult, some observers say that drug money has been used to fund the cashew nut trade, the country’s main export and a key revenue source for the rural population,” Vincent Foucher, a researcher with the International Crisis Group (ICG), told IRIN. 
He said drug money is also funding the personal security networks of top politicians and military personnel - an important element in ongoing power struggles and political strife. 
“But regarding drugs, the security forces have a comparative advantage [to the politicians],” said Foucher. 
FULL ARTICLE (IRIN)
Photo: voso/Flickr

Cocaine-related graft erodes Guinea-Bissau governance | IRIN News

Drug-trafficking in Guinea-Bissau is undermining the country’s stability, distorting its economy and intensifying the competition for power among political and military leaders, say analysts and observers. 

“Because drug-trafficking stokes instability, it affects every citizen. Moreover it gives the country a deplorable image, which tends to discourage donors. In a country where access to credit is difficult, some observers say that drug money has been used to fund the cashew nut trade, the country’s main export and a key revenue source for the rural population,” Vincent Foucher, a researcher with the International Crisis Group (ICG), told IRIN. 

He said drug money is also funding the personal security networks of top politicians and military personnel - an important element in ongoing power struggles and political strife. 

“But regarding drugs, the security forces have a comparative advantage [to the politicians],” said Foucher. 

FULL ARTICLE (IRIN)

Photo: voso/Flickr

17 Aug
Beyond Turf Wars in Coup-Hit Guinea-Bissau
Dakar/Brussels  |  17 Aug 2012
International actors need to commit to a common strategy to help coup-plagued Guinea-Bissau implement the security, justice and electoral reforms it needs to escape its status as a link in drug trafficking to Europe.
Beyond Turf Wars: Managing the Post-Coup Transition in Guinea-Bissau, the latest International Crisis Group report, urges the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), notably Angola and Portugal who are driving its policy, to set aside differences and work with the transitional authorities to define a mandate for the ECOWAS mission in Bissau and then seek UN Security Council approval of it. ECOWAS, with support from international partners, must be allowed to take the lead in setting benchmarks for the interim government to follow and ensuring that donor aid is linked to achieving them.
“ECOWAS is the only game in town because it has the ear of the transitional authorities, but it must urgently start a dialogue with the CPLP and reach a consensus for how to restore constitutional order”, says Vincent Foucher, Crisis Group’s West Africa Senior Analyst. “They have to forget their turf fights and concentrate on taking advantage of opportunities to at last bring about highly needed reforms”.
After the 12 April coup deprived Carlos Gomes Júnior of an apparently certain election as president in a second round later that month, ECOWAS was pushed by Nigeria, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso to forge a transitional agreement with the junta. That scuttled Angola’s influence in Guinea-Bissau, forcing it to withdraw its controversial military mission. ECOWAS has been more lenient toward the Guinean military, and its support for the transitional government and a year-long transition is at odds with the CPLP’s demand for prompt resumption of the aborted electoral process.
The divergence in approaches has hindered the transition process and is the last thing Guinea-Bissau needs. Despite drug money, it is one of the poorest countries in the world, with at least half its population below the poverty line. In recent years, it has endured civil war, political assassinations and several coups. No president has ever completed a full term (Malam Bacai Sanhá died in office of natural causes in January). The economy has been devastated – the cashew trade, its top income earner, is cut by half this year – and many citizens lack access to crucial services.
While the coup halted another attempt at establishing democracy, it also revealed many important factors that international policymakers should not ignore. It demonstrated that tense relations between civilian and military elites have never been resolved, which exacerbates broader grievances around issues of citizenship, human rights and regional inequalities. It likewise exposed frustrations in the political and military elites with Gomes Júnior’s divisive political style and the weakness of the electoral system.  
“The standoff between ECOWAS and the CPLP results in loss of time, energy and opportunities”, Comfort Ero, Crisis Group’s Africa Program Director, warns. “If the situation is not dealt with adequately, including by providing credible assurances that Gomes Júnior can safely return to political life, rumours of a new coup may well not continue to be just rumours”.
See pictures of the Guinea-Bissau research trip. You can also listen to the podcast here.
FULL REPORT

Beyond Turf Wars in Coup-Hit Guinea-Bissau

Dakar/Brussels  |  17 Aug 2012

International actors need to commit to a common strategy to help coup-plagued Guinea-Bissau implement the security, justice and electoral reforms it needs to escape its status as a link in drug trafficking to Europe.

Beyond Turf Wars: Managing the Post-Coup Transition in Guinea-Bissau, the latest International Crisis Group report, urges the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), notably Angola and Portugal who are driving its policy, to set aside differences and work with the transitional authorities to define a mandate for the ECOWAS mission in Bissau and then seek UN Security Council approval of it. ECOWAS, with support from international partners, must be allowed to take the lead in setting benchmarks for the interim government to follow and ensuring that donor aid is linked to achieving them.

“ECOWAS is the only game in town because it has the ear of the transitional authorities, but it must urgently start a dialogue with the CPLP and reach a consensus for how to restore constitutional order”, says Vincent Foucher, Crisis Group’s West Africa Senior Analyst. “They have to forget their turf fights and concentrate on taking advantage of opportunities to at last bring about highly needed reforms”.

After the 12 April coup deprived Carlos Gomes Júnior of an apparently certain election as president in a second round later that month, ECOWAS was pushed by Nigeria, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso to forge a transitional agreement with the junta. That scuttled Angola’s influence in Guinea-Bissau, forcing it to withdraw its controversial military mission. ECOWAS has been more lenient toward the Guinean military, and its support for the transitional government and a year-long transition is at odds with the CPLP’s demand for prompt resumption of the aborted electoral process.

The divergence in approaches has hindered the transition process and is the last thing Guinea-Bissau needs. Despite drug money, it is one of the poorest countries in the world, with at least half its population below the poverty line. In recent years, it has endured civil war, political assassinations and several coups. No president has ever completed a full term (Malam Bacai Sanhá died in office of natural causes in January). The economy has been devastated – the cashew trade, its top income earner, is cut by half this year – and many citizens lack access to crucial services.

While the coup halted another attempt at establishing democracy, it also revealed many important factors that international policymakers should not ignore. It demonstrated that tense relations between civilian and military elites have never been resolved, which exacerbates broader grievances around issues of citizenship, human rights and regional inequalities. It likewise exposed frustrations in the political and military elites with Gomes Júnior’s divisive political style and the weakness of the electoral system.  

“The standoff between ECOWAS and the CPLP results in loss of time, energy and opportunities”, Comfort Ero, Crisis Group’s Africa Program Director, warns. “If the situation is not dealt with adequately, including by providing credible assurances that Gomes Júnior can safely return to political life, rumours of a new coup may well not continue to be just rumours”.

See pictures of the Guinea-Bissau research trip. You can also listen to the podcast here.

FULL REPORT

28 Jun
Back-to-Back Coups Hand ECOWAS Huge Challenge | VOA
By Nancy Palus
DAKAR — This week’s deadly clashes between armed groups in northern Mali will likely put even more pressure on the regional bloc ECOWAS to deploy a military force it has been talking about for months.  Some Malians in the north are crying out for intervention, but experts question how effective West African forces could be against terrorist groups in the desert.  It is just one of the many challenges ECOWAS has faced after successive coups d’état in Mali and Guinea-Bissau earlier this year. 
The institution, with 15 member countries, is known by its acronym ECOWAS. Its full name is the Economic Community of West African States - a trading bloc, created in 1975.  But political crises in the region hampered economic integration, so ECOWAS has also had to turn its attention to conflict management and security.
Since its founding ECOWAS has drawn up a number of protocols, one of which establishes “zero tolerance” for the illegal takeover or maintenance of power.
FULL ARTICLE (VOA)
Photo: VOA

Back-to-Back Coups Hand ECOWAS Huge Challenge | VOA

By Nancy Palus

DAKAR — This week’s deadly clashes between armed groups in northern Mali will likely put even more pressure on the regional bloc ECOWAS to deploy a military force it has been talking about for months.  Some Malians in the north are crying out for intervention, but experts question how effective West African forces could be against terrorist groups in the desert.  It is just one of the many challenges ECOWAS has faced after successive coups d’état in Mali and Guinea-Bissau earlier this year. 

The institution, with 15 member countries, is known by its acronym ECOWAS. Its full name is the Economic Community of West African States - a trading bloc, created in 1975.  But political crises in the region hampered economic integration, so ECOWAS has also had to turn its attention to conflict management and security.

Since its founding ECOWAS has drawn up a number of protocols, one of which establishes “zero tolerance” for the illegal takeover or maintenance of power.

FULL ARTICLE (VOA)

Photo: VOA

12 Jun
Africa: How Will West African Posturing Affect Guinea Bissau? | Think Africa Press
By: Bram Posthumus
There are currently 600 West African troops in Guinea Bissau who will supposedly guarantee peace and security through the country’s period of transition.
The arrangement, brokered by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) at their summit in Dakar, early May, became necessary after the Guinea Bissau army staged a coup on April 12, which dissolved an almost complete electoral process.
In addition to the troops, the arrangement provides for a transitional government, with a president and a cabinet of ministers who must take care of the country’s affairs and prepare for its next elections.
FULL ARTICLE (All Africa)
Photo: colleen_taugher / Flickr

Africa: How Will West African Posturing Affect Guinea Bissau? | Think Africa Press

By: Bram Posthumus

There are currently 600 West African troops in Guinea Bissau who will supposedly guarantee peace and security through the country’s period of transition.

The arrangement, brokered by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) at their summit in Dakar, early May, became necessary after the Guinea Bissau army staged a coup on April 12, which dissolved an almost complete electoral process.

In addition to the troops, the arrangement provides for a transitional government, with a president and a cabinet of ministers who must take care of the country’s affairs and prepare for its next elections.

FULL ARTICLE (All Africa)

Photo: colleen_taugher / Flickr

4 Jun

Photos taken by Senior Communications Officer, Gabriela Keseberg Dávalos, during her visit to Guinea-Bissau with Vincent Foucher, West Africa Senior Analyst. The team met with policy makers and civil society representatives to research on the situation in the country after the 12 April coup and the new transitional government. Listen also to the podcast: bit.ly/Nn7wxK

(Source: Flickr / internationalcrisisgroup)