The delegation of the National Assembly of the Republic of Guinea has recommended to Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the need to sensitise citizens of the community on their rights and duties in the area of free movement.
The observation was noted in Guinea’s Country Report to the First Ordinary Session of the Community Parliament, 2021, holding in Abuja.
Presenting the report during the plenary sitting of the Community Parliament, Alpha Souleymane Bah, Leader of Delegation, on behalf of five other members, told the West African Legislative Assembly that: “One of the factors hindering free movement is that citizens of the Community are ignorant of their rights and duties in the area of free movement. Added to this is the non-harmonisation of administrative and travel documents,” he said.
Hon. Bah was speaking on the implementation of the ECOWAS Texts, item number 2, “Protocol on the Free Movement of People and Goods.”
He recalled in the report that in 1975 in Dakar, ECOWAS member states embarked on the difficult but irreversible path through the adoption of a Protocol on the Free Movement of People and Goods. Despite these efforts by the highest national and community authorities, he noted, free movement of people is ineffective.
“Even more serious, the right of entry, until then considered to be the most effective of the rights constituting the free movement of people, is constantly challenged by illegal practices (harassment and racketeering at borders and within states),” Bah read.
The Guinean Delegation, however, recommended that to remedy the issue of ignorance of the Protocol on the Movement of People and Goods, the Guinean government has made commitment to support effective implementation of this protocol to which it has freely subscribed.
“Sensitization for all stakeholders is necessary for this context,” the report recommends.
The Guinean Delegation, however, highlighted that, “In its action plan, consultations with the various actors are underway, in particular transporters, socio-professional groups, young people, migrants, security forces, agents of immigration services, social organisations and civil society to discuss ways to overcome the difficulties on the various corridors.
“In addition, it should be noted that this issue of free movement of people and their goods has been experiencing some difficulties for several months with certain states in the community, the report says,” the report stated.
The twelve-page report also shed light on Guinea’s political, security, human rights, and health situations, capturing the condition of refugees in the region and the status of implementation of the Community Texts (Ratification of Protocols and Conventions, Implementation of the Community Levy and the Supplementary Act on Equality of Rights between Women and Men for Sustainable Development in the ECOWAS Region).