Security Council Presidential Statement, Deploring Military Interference, Urges Guinea-Bissau Authorities to Ensure Elections without Further Delay

9 December 2013
SC/11204

Security Council Presidential Statement, Deploring Military Interference, Urges Guinea-Bissau Authorities to Ensure Elections without Further Delay

9 December 2013
Security Council
SC/11204
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

7074th Meeting (AM)

Security Council Presidential Statement, Deploring Military Interference, Urges

Guinea-Bissau Authorities to Ensure Elections without Further Delay

 

Addressing the situation in Guinea-Bissau today, the Security Council strongly deplored the repeated military interferences in civilian affairs and called for respect of the constitutional order, including the electoral process.

In a presidential statement (document S/PRST/2013/19), the Council took note of the postponement of the presidential and legislative elections to 16 March 2014 by the authorities in charge of the transitional period.  It urged the transitional authorities to ensure there would be no further delay or postponement that could further affect the country’s already fragile socioeconomic, security, humanitarian and human rights situation.

The Council also expressed grave concern at the recent deterioration of the security situation, including many cases of human rights violations.  It stressed that deteriorating security had created an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, which, combined with the tension between the political parties, undermined an environment conducive to the holding of “timely, credible, peaceful and inclusive elections”.

Further, recalling its resolution 2048 (2012), the Council reiterated its readiness to consider further measures, as it deemed necessary, including targeted sanctions against individuals who undermined efforts to restore the constitutional order.  The Council also emphasized its concern about the prevailing culture of impunity and lack of accountability in the country.

Urging the transitional authorities to continue working collaboratively with the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS) and the United Nations country team, the Council commended the Governments of Nigeria, Timor-Leste and other countries, as well as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), European Union and the West African Monetary Union, for their generous contributions to support the electoral process.

In addition, the Council welcomed ECOWAS efforts to strengthen its mission in the country to assist the authorities in providing security for the upcoming elections.  It urged ECOWAS and its m ember States, as well as its international partners, to continue coordinating further endeavours towards supporting peace, stability, rule of law and the fight against impunity.

The Council also welcomed the actions taken by UNIOGBIS and the United Nations Department of Political Affairs to contribute to the fight against drug trafficking in Guinea-Bissau, reiterating its call for international support for those activities.

The meeting began at 10:05 a.m. and ended at 10:10 a.m.

Presidential Statement

The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2013/19 reads as follows:

“The Security Council recalls that the consolidation of peace and stability in Guinea-Bissau can only result from a consensual, inclusive and nationally owned transition process, the restoration of and respect for constitutional order, reforms in the defence, security and justice sectors, the promotion of the rule of law, the protection of human rights, the promotion of socioeconomic development, an improvement in the humanitarian situation and the fight against impunity and drug trafficking.

“The Security Council takes note of the postponement of the date of the presidential and legislative elections to 16 March 2014 by the authorities in charge of the transitional period and expresses its concern at the delay by the said authorities in taking the necessary steps for the timely adoption and implementation of decisions towards restoring constitutional order and to organizing inclusive elections.  The Security Council urges the authorities in charge of the transitional period to ensure there is no further delay or postponement that could further affect the already fragile socioeconomic, security, humanitarian and human rights situation in Guinea-Bissau.

“The Security Council strongly deplores the repeated interference of the military in civilian affairs and calls upon the military to respect the constitutional order, including the electoral process.  The Security Council reiterates its demand to the armed forces to submit themselves fully to civilian control.

“The Security Council reaffirms that it is critical that the authorities in charge of the transitional period and other stakeholders in Guinea-Bissau remain committed to ensuring the restoration of constitutional order in the country and calls upon them to continue to take further measures to ensure the smooth execution of the voter registration process.  The Security Council further urges stakeholders in Guinea-Bissau to promote the principle of consensus to resolve outstanding issues in a peaceful manner.

“The Security Council expresses its grave concern at the recent deterioration of the security situation, including many cases of violations and abuses of human rights and acts of violence against persons and property, intimidation, threats and restrictions of freedom of expression and assembly and notes that in several cases, these acts have reportedly been carried out by State and non-State armed elements.

“The Security Council stresses that the deteriorating security situation has created an atmosphere of fear and intimidation in the population, which, combined with the tension between the political parties, undermine an environment conducive to the holding of timely, credible, peaceful and inclusive elections.

“The Security Council urges Authorities in charge of the transitional period to provide the security and create the conditions conducive to the safe full and equal participation of all political actors and all sectors of the society, in particular women in the political process and calls upon all stakeholders to contribute to that effect.

“The Security Council takes note of the establishment of the ‘Coordinating Committee for the Electoral Process and Financial Support for the General Election of 2013 to 2014’, which aims to ensure coordination among the partners and requests UNIOGBIS to provide, in accordance with its mandate, the relevant assistance to the aforementioned Coordinating Committee.

“The Security Council urges the Authorities in charge of the transitional period to continue to work collaboratively with the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS) and the United Nations country team, as well as with other regional and international stakeholders, in order to ensure a peaceful and stable atmosphere before, during and after the elections, and a credible and peaceful outcome to the election.

“The Security Council notes that the support of Guinea‑Bissau’s partners is required to finance the electoral process, and in this regard, commends the Governments of Nigeria, Timor-Leste and other countries, as well as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the European Union and the West African Monetary Union (WAEMU), for their generous contributions and pledges to support the electoral process.  The Security Council further urges the relevant partners to ensure the timely disbursement of their pledges in order to facilitate the holding of the elections in March 2014.

“The Security Council urges stakeholders in Guinea-Bissau, including political and military leaders to refrain from any action that could hamper the electoral process and the implementation of reforms, which are key to the long-term stability of Guinea‑Bissau.  The Security Council recalls its resolution 2048 (2012) and, in this regard, reiterates its readiness to consider further measures, as it deems necessary, including targeted sanctions against individuals who undermine efforts to restore the constitutional order.

“The Security Council commends ECOWAS for its actions on the ground, including through its mission in Guinea–Bissau (ECOMIB), and welcomes the intention of the organization to strengthen its mission to assist the Authorities in charge of the transitional period in providing security for the upcoming elections.  The Security Council calls upon ECOWAS and its Members States, as well as its international partners to lend further support to ECOMIB in this regard and continue to coordinate further international efforts to support peace, stability, rule of law and the fights against impunity in Guinea-Bissau.

“The Security Council condemns the recent increase in the number of human rights violations and abuses in Guinea-Bissau and deplores the killing of a Nigerian citizen and the attacks on political actors, the civilian population and one United Nations staff member, as well as on the Nigerian Embassy.  The Security Council urges the authorities in charge of the transitional period to ensure that credible investigations are carried out and that those responsible for those acts are brought to justice.

“The Security Council reiterates its concern about the prevailing culture of impunity and lack of accountability in Guinea-Bissau.  The Security Council urges, in this regard, the authorities in charge of the transitional period to take swift action to fighteffectively impunity and promote justiceby ensuring that perpetrators are brought to justice.

“The Security Council reiterates its deep concern at continued drug trafficking in Guinea-Bissau, and at the threat it poses to stability in the country, as well as in its neighboring countriesand re-emphasises the need to tackle the problem of drug trafficking in the countries of origin, transit and final destination through an approach of common and shared responsibility.

“The Security Council welcomes the actions taken by UNIOGBIS and the United Nations Department of Political Affairs to contribute to the fight against drug trafficking in Guinea-Bissau, encourages UNIOGBIS to continue assisting the national authorities to combat drug trafficking and transnational organized crime in close cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and in this regard, reiterates its call for international support to these activities.

“The Security Council urges the authorities in charge of the transitional period and national institutions of Guinea-Bissau to work together to alleviate social tensions and humanitarian hardships in order to ensure a climate that is peaceful and conducive to the implementation of far-reaching reforms for the consolidation of peace and democracy, the strengthening of national institutions, and the promotion of human rights and socioeconomic development.  The Security Council welcomes, in this regard, the prospective resumption of engagement by the Guinea-Bissau Configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission, once appropriate conditions are in place, welcomes the intention of its Chair to visit Guinea-Bissau, and encourages close cooperation between the Peacebuilding Commission and UNIOGBIS.”

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.