Security Council holds consultations on Guinea-Bissau
23 February 2011 - The UN Secretary-General's latest report on Guinea-Bissau is Friday analyzed by the Security Council in a session also marked by the briefing of his Special Representative, Joseph Mutaboba, on the latest developments in the West African country.
In his report, Ban Ki-moon states that Guinea-Bissau has made "noticeable progress" that reverse the negative effects of 1 April events while appealing upon political and military leaders to work together for national interest towards development and stability. "It is worth noting that the national authorities of Guinea-Bissau have made noticeable efforts in recent months to reverse the negative trends that had dominated the events of 1 April", Mr. Ban highlights. At the same time, the Secretary-General underscores that "it is especially important for the people of Guinea-Bissau, in particular political and military actors, to reflect on the high cost of the wasted years and to focus on working collectively in the national interest towards building a national consensus on the priorities for socio-economic development and long-term stability."
In the political area, the report notes the positive steps taken by Bissau-Guinean leadership, especially the President and Prime Minister, "to demonstrate its renewed commitment to resolve contentious issues through dialogue and consultations and to consolidate State institutions." The document also stresses the National Conference undergoing preparatory process and appeals to the country's leadership and population "to make the best use of this crucial process" as well as the international community to continue to extend all necessary assistance to the initiative.
The Secretary-General also takes note of the recent efforts to improve the security environment in Guinea-Bissau, especially those of the civilian leadership of the country, to assert its control over defence and security institutions and by beginning to address issues related to impunity in the armed forces, including the release from detention of Vice-Admiral Induta and other senior officers.
On Security Sector Reform, the report welcomes the international partners support, in particular Angola, to help Guinea-Bissau restructure its armed forces and to contribute to the rehabilitation of military and police installations as well as the ECOWAS-CPLP road map adopted on 24 November 2010. "In my previous report, I stressed that the emerging ECOWAS-CPLP partnership had helped to regenerate political momentum in Guinea-Bissau and had reopened a window of opportunity to enhance collaboration between the international community and the people and leadership of Guinea-Bissau following months of impasse."
While expressing his confidence that "the political and military leadership of Guinea-Bissau will officially confirm its adherence to the ECOWAS plan and that ECOWAS Heads of State and Government will endorse it to enable the implementation process to begin", Ban Ki-moon announces his intention to deploy a mission to Bissau by the end of the first quarter of 2011 to undertake the requested assessment and further submission to the Security Council, in accordance with its resolution 1949 (2010).
On drug trafficking combat, Mr. Ban welcomes the signing of the memorandum of understanding for the establishment of a transnational crime unit but urges Guinea-Bissau authorities to continue taking appropriate measures against those responsible for drug trafficking.
Finally, the report calls upon the national authorities to complete the investigations into the 2009 political assassinations and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice, stating that the United Nations will continue to assist the country in that endeavour.