Security Council analyzes Secretary-General’s report on Guinea-Bissau

5 Nov 2010

Security Council analyzes Secretary-General’s report on Guinea-Bissau

5 November 2010 - The latest United Nations Secretary-General's report on Guinea-Bissau is analyzed Friday by the Security Council while the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Guinea-Bissau, Joseph Mutaboba, will brief the Members on the latest developments in the West African country.


In his report, Ban Ki-moon underscores the impact of partners mobilization could have on the Security Sector Reform (SSR) as well as the need of respect for Constitutional Order and Rule of Law, drug trafficking combat and implementation of a true dialogue which could lead to Guinea-Bissau stability.

On SSR, the Secretary-General commends "CPLP and ECOWAS actions, which could result in the adoption of a joint road map to assist Guinea-Bissau, as requested by President Sanha." "If endorsed, it should contribute to enhanced protection of State institutions and increased civilian oversight of military structures". Mr. Ban adds that the joint road map should also help create conditions for the implementation of critical aspects of the security sector reform programme, including the demobilization and reinsertion of elements of the armed forces, while at the same time creating conditions for the renewed commitment of donors and other key partners to supporting the economic reforms in Guinea-Bissau and debt relief programmes for the country.

In an appeal to Guinea-Bissau civilian and military leaders, the Secretary-General calls for a national consensus as the best way to stabilize the country while at the same time inviting the authorities to "ensure respect for constitutional order and the rule of law.

The report also expresses concern over "the persistence of impunity, as well as unwarranted delays in providing due legal process, as exemplified by the continued detention, without charge, of the former Chief of General Staff, Vice Admiral Zamora Induta, and other detainees." "Established laws must be applied and fundamental principles of the rule of law, such as the duty to ensure fair legal proceedings and the right to defence, must be respected", the document stresses while stressing the UN availability to assist the authorities in undertaking reform of the justice system and to work with the Government "to ensure that investigations are undertaken through credible and transparent processes."

In his report, the Secretary-General notes that "drug trafficking and organized crime continue to pose a serious risk to the stability of Guinea-Bissau and to the West African subregion as a whole and call on the international community to step up efforts to fight this menace in all its aspects and, in particular, to enhance national and regional capacities to do so". The United Nations, through UNODC, stands "ready to assist ECOWAS and the Government of Guinea-Bissau in pursuit of those aims", the document stresses while stating that "the problem of drug trafficking must be tackled at all levels, namely, in the countries of origin, transit and final destination." At the same time, Ban Ki-moon says that Guinea-Bissau authorities "should also continue to demonstrate, through concrete action, their commitment to tackling this phenomenon, including by ensuring the due prosecution of those individuals involved in such criminal activities."

Finally, the Secretary-General explains that "efforts should also be continued to ensure genuine and inclusive political dialogue in Guinea-Bissau, especially among key actors in the country's political and military institutions, as well as civil society" as he encourages "the organizers of the national conference to build upon the valuable lessons learned and best practices from similar experiences elsewhere to make the ongoing Guinea-Bissau process a meaningful success.