Armed forces chiefs of four ECOWAS countries are already in Bissau

Government Palace in Bissau

Government Palace in Bissau

The Armed Forces chiefs of Senegal, Nigeria, Niger and Togo arrived in Bissau today for a series of meetings with Guinea-Bissau's political and military authorities, a government source told Lusa.

According to the same source, armed forces chiefs of four ECOWAS countries, whom the organization decided to send during an extraordinary summit focused on Guinea-Bissau's political situation, are already accommodated in a hotel in Bissau center.

The delegation is comprised of generals Cheikh Gueye (Senegal), Abayomi Gabriel Olonishakin (Nigeria), Ahmed Mohamed (Niger), Félix Abalo Kadangha (Togo), and ECOWAS Chief of Defense General Usman Yusuf.

The delegation will hold several meetings with Guinea-Bissau officials between Thursday and Friday, including outgoing President José Mário Vaz, Prime Minister Aristides Gomes, the Minister of Defense, and the Home Secretary.

These meetings are meant to prepare the visit, on Saturday, of the presidents of Ivory Coast, the Gambia, Guinea-Conakry, Ghana, Niger and Nigeria, who will inform José Mário Vaz of the decisions of the ECOWAS summit held on November 8 in Niger, in which the political crisis in Guinea-Bissau was discussed.

José Mário Vaz, who is doing his campaign for the upcoming presidential election (November 24), did not attend the ECOWAS summit in Niger.

Among other measures, ECOWAS decided to reinforce its military presence - currently comprised of about 600 soldiers - in the country. This decision has been widely criticized by Guinea-Bissau's political leaders, who see it as a foreign invasion.