Following a briefing yesterday by the head of the United Nations peacebuilding office in Guinea-Bissau, the Security Council has encouraged national actors to abide by the constitution and rule of law, while striving to find a political solution to the crisis in the country.
Yesterday, the 15-member body heard from Modibo Touré, the Secretary-General's Special Representative and head of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS), who warned that the longer the country's political crisis continues, the more likely the country could see setbacks to its development and economic gains.
In a press statement released today, the members of the Council commended the security forces of Guinea-Bissau for their "non-interference in the political situation and the restraint shown in this regard," and reminded the security and defense services of the need to continue abiding by civilian control.
Expressing serious concern over the latest political developments, the Council also commended the peaceful way in which Guinea-Bissau's population is following the political situation in the country.
In its statement, the Council welcomed the decision taken by the 49th Ordinary Summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Authority of Heads of State and Government held in Dakar to designate a presidential mission comprising the Heads of State of Guinea, Senegal and Sierra Leone to meet and conduct discussions with those involved in the political crisis in Guinea-Bissau.
The Council encouraged those regional leaders to further engage in addressing the country's current political situation. They also welcomed the decision to extend for one year the mandate of the ECOWAS security mission in Guinea-Bissau and, in that respect, commended the decision of the European Union (EU) to provide financial support to the mission.
The members of the Council also encouraged ECOWAS to continue extending its political support to the authorities and political leaders of Guinea-Bissau through the use of good offices and mediation.
Stressing the importance of national reconciliation, inclusive dialogue and good governance, the Council highlighted the need for the Government of Guinea-Bissau to continue to take concrete steps towards peace, security and stability in the country, by effectively reforming the security sector and tackling corruption.
They urged relevant Bissau-Guinean actors to "uphold and proceed with continuous and constructive dialogue, within the established constitutional parameters and with respect for the separation of powers, in order to strengthen democratic governance and work towards consensus on key political issues, particularly with regards to the urgent implementation of necessary reforms," according to the statement.
The members of the Council recalled their full commitment to support the consolidation of peace and stability Guinea-Bissau and noted that the pledges made at the Brussels International Donor Conference of March 2015 required a stable political environment in order to materialize.
Further, the Council noted that "courageous and inclusive political steps are needed to help fulfil these pledged commitments, in the best interests of all the people of Guinea-Bissau," the statement said.
In addition, the members of the Council welcomed the joint efforts by international partners, in particular the UN, African Union (AU), ECOWAS, EU and the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (CPLP), to enhance cooperation in support of the Government in Guinea-Bissau. The Council encouraged them to continue to work together towards the country's stabilization in accordance with the key structural reforms established by the Government.
Moreover, the Council encouraged ECOWAS and the CPLP to take the necessary steps towards organizing a meeting of the international contact Group on Guinea-Bissau, in consultation with the UN, EU and all concerned stakeholders.