Guinea-Bissau has plunged into another cycle of instability since August 2015, when President Vaz dismissed the PAIGC government resulting from the elections which took place the year before. Since then, the country is going through a protracted political crisis which has resulted in the formation of five governments and delayed the disbursement of pledges made by donors in Brussels conference in March 2015 for Terra Ranka. The inclusive national development plan aims to relaunch economy and provide a brighter future to the country and notably to its hugely undereducated and unemployed youth.
The crisis has spilled over to all organs of sovereignty, including the courts and the National Assembly unable to function properly and consequently unable to discuss and vote the progamme and the state budget of the former and current governments.
Unanimously taking on 23 February 2017 Resolution 2343 extending UNIOGBIS mandate until 28 February 2018, the United Nations Security Council urged all political actors to put the interest of the people of Guinea-Bissau above all other consideration and in this regard, called upon Bissau-Guinean leaders, including the President, the Speaker of Parliament and heads of political parties to abide by their commitment to bring political stability to Guinea-Bissau in engaging in genuine dialogue and finding common ground for a swift resolution of the political crisis.
Endorsing the Conakry Agreement of October 2016, the SC called upon the Bissau-Guinean stakeholders to strictly respect and comply with it and the ECOWAS road map in addressing their differences and the challenges facing their country.
Thus the challenge for UNIOGBIS for the next months will be to bring the authorities of Guinea-Bissau and all stakeholders, including the military, political parties, and civil society to work together to consolidate progress made so far, and to address the root causes of instability with particular attention to political-military dynamics, ineffective state institutions and rule of law, impunity and human rights violations and abuses, poverty and lack of access to basic services.
Specifically, the Security Council requests UNIOGBIS, including through the use of the good offices and political supports of the Special Representative, to focus, in particular, on the following priorities:
- Support an inclusive political dialogue and national reconciliation process to strengthen democratic governance and work towards consensus on key political issues particularly with regards to the implementation of necessary urgent reforms;
- Supports, including by technical assistance, the national authorities in expediting and completing the review of Guinea-Bissau’s Constitution;
- Provide strategic and technical advice and support to national authorities and relevant stakeholders, including in coordination with ECOWAS/ECOMIB and other international partners, in implementing the national security sector reform and rule of law strategies, as well as developing civilian and military justice systems that are compliant with international standards;
- Support the Government of Guinea-Bissau, in cooperation with the Peacebuilding Commission towards the mobilization, harmonization and coordination of international assistance, including for the implementation of the national security sector reform and rule of law strategies, and enhancing cooperation with the AU, ECOWAS, CPLP, EU and other partners in support of the maintenance of constitutional order and the stabilization of Guinea-Bissau.
The SC also tasks UNIOGBIS and the Special Representative to continue to lead international efforts in the following priority areas:
- Providing support to the Government of Guinea-Bissau in strengthening democratic institutions and enhancing the capacity of state organs to function effectively and constitutionally;
- Providing strategic and technical advice and support for the establishment of effective and efficient law enforcement and criminal justice and penitentiary systems, capable of maintaining public security and combating impunity, while respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms;
- Assisting national authorities in the promotion and protection of human rights as well as undertake human rights monitoring and reporting activities;
- Providing strategic and technical advice and support to the Government of Guinea-Bissau to combat drug trafficking and transnational organized crime, in close cooperation with UNODC;
- Providing support to the Government of Guinea-Bissau to incorporate a gender perspective into peacebuilding, in line with Security Council resolutions 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008) and 2242 (2015); as well as implementation of the National Action Plan on Gender in order to ensure the involvement, representation and participation of women at all levels through inter alia the provision of gender advisers;
Furthermore in the new resolution, the Council also reminds us that UNIOGBIS and the United Nations Country Team - UNDP, UNICEF, WFP, FAO, IOM, UNHCR, WHO - must work together to create a favorable environment for holding legislative elections And presidential elections in 2018 and 2019, the reform of the electoral code and the promulgation of a new law on political parties and calls on "UNIOGBIS to work closely with national authorities as well as with the United Nations Country Team ) To support the timely implementation of these elections and to strengthen democracy and good governance; "
The Security Council further decided that in seven months' time it will examine the sanctions measures established under resolution 2048 (2012).