Security Council urged to call for unified strategy that would restore legitimate order in G-B

27 Jul 2012

Security Council urged to call for unified strategy that would restore legitimate order in G-B

27 July 2012- Describing the divergent positions of Guinea-Bissau's international partners on the transitional process emerging in the country following the 12 April military coup d'état, the Secretary-General's Special Representative, Joseph Mutaboba yesterday, appealed to the Security Council to call on them to forge a unified strategy for restoring legitimate order.

"Efforts by the Secretary-General and UNIOGBIS to harmonize the positions of the international partners had not yet produced the desired results", Joseph Mutaboba said while presenting the Secretary-General's latest report on Guinea-Bissau. Acknowledging divergent positions among international partners, the Head of UNIOGBIS stressed that it was critical that ECOWAS and CPLP, in collaboration with the African Union, the European Union and the United Nations, overcome their prevailing differences and agree on a common position.

Similarly, all domestic political actors and civil society in Guinea-Bissau must work together to ensure a consensual transition as a step towards restoring constitutional order, Joseph Mutaboba said, adding that national political actors must work towards ending the parliamentary deadlock. Mr. Mutaboba recalled that in his recent consultations with a wide range of stakeholders, all groups had stressed the need for the country's people and leadership to engage in inclusive and frank dialogue. They had also underscored the necessity of tackling the root causes of instability

Also addressing the Council were Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti (Brazil), in her capacity as Chair of the Guinea-Bissau Configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission; Antonio Gumende (Mozambique), on behalf of the Community of Portuguese-speaking countries (CPLP); and Youssoufou Bamba (Côte d'Ivoire), on behalf of Heads of State of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Jose Filipe Moraes Cabral (Portugal) spoke in clarification of the issue.

Ms. Viotti said that the restoration of constitutional order should evolve through dialogue and negotiation, with the participation of all political forces, she emphasized. The United Nations, African Union, ECOWAS, CPLP and the European Union should seek a convergence of views and mutually reinforce each other's actions. To that end, she suggested the convening of a high-level meeting be by the Secretary-General, with the aim of articulating a common strategy.

Mr. Bamba, speaking on behalf of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, said the transitional process was hindered by the "pro-Carlos Gomes Junior faction of the PAIGC", with the active backing of external supporters. Nevertheless, the Transitional Government, which included PAIGC members, remained focused on achieving inclusiveness and consensus. Largely as a result of unrelenting efforts by ECOWAS, there was a new environment of political peace, security and stability, instead of chaos and anarchy, he said. Dialogue between the Gomes faction of the PAIGC and the Transitional Government was ongoing, and efforts were under way to ensure the National Assembly's smooth functioning.

Mr. Gumende expressed CPLP's deep concern over the situation in Guinea-Bissau since the coup. Relating the results of the Community's summit last week, he reiterated its appeal for the convening of a high-level meeting under the aegis of the United Nations, with a view to developing a comprehensive, integrated strategy aimed at restoring constitutional order in Guinea-Bissau, in close coordination with regional partners, notably CPLP, the African Union, ECOWAS and the European Union.

Mr. Cabral said the PAIGC, Guinea-Bissau's major party, was not part of the Transitional Government. Members said to be participating no longer had a connection with the party, as made clear by successive communiqués from the legitimate PAIGC authorities. What had been called the "Gomes faction", was in fact two thirds of the Guinea-Bissau parliament's membership, he said, adding that to call that a "faction" lacked "elegance", to say the least. The country's international partners had refrained from collaborating with illegitimate authorities and would, no doubt, continue to do so until a credible political transition was in place, he emphasized. He pointed out that criminal activity and drug trafficking had increased, despite what had been described as a return to "normality" in daily life. (Source: DPI )