Security Council extends mandate of peacebuilding office in Guinea-Bissau
In a unanimously adopted resolution, the Council extended the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS) until 28 February 2013.
Established by the Council in 2009, the office is tasked with promoting stability in the West African nation, which has been beset by coups and political instability since it became independent in the early 1970s.
The Council also called on the Government and all political stakeholders to “work together to consolidate peace and stability in the country, use legal and peaceful means to resolve differences and intensify efforts for genuine and inclusive political dialogue and national reconciliation.”
The 15-member body urged members of Guinea-Bissau’s armed forces, particularly its leaders, to respect constitutional order, civilian rule and oversight, as well as the rule of law and human rights, and to refrain from interfering in political issues. It further urged the country’s political leaders to refrain from involving the military and the judiciary in politics.
Last month, Joseph Mutaboba, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of UNIOGBIS, told the Council that while Guinea-Bissau has made important progress, including in police reform, it is vital that the country press ahead with other challenges such as the launch of a pension fund for ex-military and security personnel and improving the judicial sector.
Mr. Mutaboba added that it is important to build on recent gains, particularly as the country embarks prepares for legislative elections in 2012.
Guinea-Bissau is one of five countries on the agenda of the UN Peacebuilding Commission – along with Burundi, Sierra Leone, the Central African Republic (CAR) and Liberia – set up in 2005 to help countries emerging from conflict make an irreversible transition from war to sustainable peace.