Members of the United Nations Security Council today voiced concern over the unstable political, economic and social situation in Guinea-Bissau, where national funds are being misused and tensions are rising along the country's northern border.
"Members of the Council expressed concern over tensions at border areas with Senegal, and the Government's inability - due to a lack of resources - to go forward with the restructuring of the armed forces and with the demobilization and reintegration programme," the Council's President for the month of July, Ambassador Wang Yingfan of China, told the press today in New York.
Earlier, the Council met in closed consultations to hear a briefing by a senior official from the UN Department of Political Affairs and to consider Secretary-General Kofi Annan's most recent report on the situation in the country and the activities of the UN Peace-Building Support Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNOGBIS).
In the press statement, Council members expressed their concern about "the serious misappropriation of funds of the national treasury and welcomed efforts by President Yala and the National Assembly to shed light on their practices." They also reaffirmed their support for the efforts by the Government and the people of Guinea-Bissau to promote national reconciliation, strengthen democratic institutions "to uphold the rule of law in the face of mounting challenges both inside and outside the country" and to improve relations with its neighbours.
Reiterating their call on the international community to continue to assist the Government in its economic rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts, Council members encouraged the Bretton Woods institutions to pursue their constructive policy towards the country. They also urged the international community to provide generous contributions for promoting peace and stability in Guinea-Bissau.
Members of the Council commended the role played by UNOGBIS in facilitating peace-building initiatives aimed at strengthening democratic institutions, promoting the rule of law and the protection of human rights in Guinea-Bissau. They also reiterated their support to the Representative of the Secretary-General, Samuel C. Nana Sinkam.