Guinea-Bissau remains source of 'deep concern' - Annan

Guinea-Bissau remains source of 'deep concern' - Annan

The political situation in Guinea-Bissau remains difficult and volatile and is a source of "deep concern," according to a report by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in which he appeals to all political actors to resolve their differences through dialogue and within the framework of the country's constitution.

"The great expectations and widespread optimism that accompanied the restoration of democracy nearly two years ago have failed to deliver the stability and progress the people wanted and justly deserve," the Secretary-General says in his report to the Security Council on developments in Guinea-Bissau and the UN Peace-building Support Office (UNOGBIS) there.

Recent events, including reports of a failed coup, repeated calls for the President's resignation and the dismissal of the country's Prime Minister, reflect a seemingly deepening institutional, as well as political, crisis, the Secretary-General observes.

"Not only does the quest for national reconciliation remain a challenge, but the threat that even the modest democratic gains achieved so far can easily be reversed is dangerously real," he warns, while reaffirming the UN's commitment to support Guinea-Bissau through the wide range of programmes carried out by the UN system.

In an effort to further enhance coordination among them, UNOGBIS and the UN country team recently developed a "strategic vision" designed to assist Guinea-Bissau's peace-building process in the short to medium term, the Secretary-General reports, with the immediate goal of helping to prevent the country from relapsing into armed conflict by addressing the root causes of its crises.

Mr. Annan also appeals to the international community "to remain engaged with and supportive of Guinea-Bissau," and to contribute generously to the Round Table Conference, now rescheduled for early 2002, to help to raise resources to meet both short- and medium-term priorities.