SECURITY COUNCIL WELCOMES AGREEMENT BETWEEN PARTIES TOWARDS RECONCILIATION AND PEACE IN GUINEA-BISSAU

6 November 1998
SC/6592

SECURITY COUNCIL WELCOMES AGREEMENT BETWEEN PARTIES TOWARDS RECONCILIATION AND PEACE IN GUINEA-BISSAU

6 November 1998

Press ReleaseSC/6592

SECURITY COUNCIL WELCOMES AGREEMENT BETWEEN PARTIES TOWARDS RECONCILIATION AND PEACE IN GUINEA-BISSAU

19981106 Presidential Statement Calls on Both Sides To Respect Obligations, Welcomes Plan to Establish Government of National Unity

The Security Council this afternoon welcomed the agreement reached on 1 November in Abuja between the Government of Guinea-Bissau and the Self- Proclaimed Military Junta as a positive step towards national reconciliation and lasting peace.

In a statement read out by its President, Peter Burleigh (United States), the Council called on the two parties to respect fully their obligations under the Abuja Agreement and the Praia Agreement of 26 August. The Council welcomed in particular the decision to establish a Government of National Unity and to hold elections not later than the end of March 1999.

The Council noted the agreement regarding the withdrawal from Guinea- Bissau of all foreign troops and of the simultaneous deployment of the interposition force from the Military Observer Group of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOMOG). It called on all States voluntarily to provide technical, financial and logistical support to ECOMOG.

Following an appeal for urgent humanitarian assistance to displaced persons and refugees, the Council called upon the Government and the Self- Proclaimed Military Junta to continue to respect relevant provisions of international law and to ensure safe and unimpeded access by international humanitarian organizations to persons in need of assistance as a result of the conflict.

The Abuja Agreement was concluded during the twenty-first Summit of the Authority of the Heads of State of the Economic Community of West African States. The parties, reaffirming the ceasefire agreement signed in Praia on 26 August, agreed to the withdrawal of foreign troops; the deployment of an ECOWAS interposition force which would guarantee security along the Guinea- Bissau/Senegal border; the opening of the international airport and seaport in Bissau; the establishment of a Government of National Unity; and general and presidential elections to be observed by ECOWAS, the Community of Portuguese- Speaking Countries and the international community.

The meeting, which began at 5:50 p.m., was adjourned at 5:54 p.m.

Security Council - 2 - Press Release SC/6592 3940th Meeting (PM) 6 November 1998

Presidential Statement

The full text of the presidential statement, to be issued as document S/PRST/1998/31, reads as follows:

"The Security Council welcomes the agreement reached on 1 November 1998, in Abuja, between the Government of Guinea-Bissau and the Self-Proclaimed Military Junta during the twenty-first Summit of the Authority of the Heads of State of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) (S/1998/1028, annex). In this context, the Council commends the mediation efforts of ECOWAS and of the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (CPLP), and their respective Chairmen, and recognizes the role of other leaders, in particular the preponderant role of the President of Gambia in the negotiations that led to that agreement.

"The Security Council affirms its firm commitment to preserve the unity, sovereignty, constitutional order and territorial integrity of Guinea-Bissau.

"The Security Council considers the agreement to be a positive step towards national reconciliation and lasting peace in Guinea-Bissau. The Council calls upon the Government and the Self-Proclaimed Military Junta to respect fully their obligations under the Abuja Agreement and the Praia Agreement of 26 August 1998 (S/1998/825). The Council welcomes, in particular, the decision immediately to put in place a Government of National Unity and to hold general and presidential elections not later than the end of March 1999.

"The Security Council takes note of the agreement regarding the withdrawal from Guinea-Bissau of all foreign troops and of the simultaneous deployment of the interposition force from the Military Observer Group of ECOWAS (ECOMOG), which will take over from the withdrawn forces. The Council calls upon all States to provide voluntarily technical, financial and logistical support to assist ECOMOG to carry out its mission.

"The Security Council appeals to States and organizations concerned to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to displaced persons and refugees. It calls upon the Government and the Self-Proclaimed Military Junta to continue to respect relevant provisions of international law, including humanitarian law, and to ensure safe and unimpeded access by international humanitarian organizations to persons in need of assistance as a result of the conflict. In this regard, it welcomes the decision to open the international airport and the seaport at Bissau.

"The Security Council will remain actively seized of the matter."

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For information media. Not an official record.