The Security Council Monday called on all political actors and civil society in Guinea-Bissau to engage in a consensual, inclusive and nationally-owned process to restore constitutional order in the country.
In a statement read out to the press by Ambassador Ne'stor Osorio of Colombia, which holds the Council's presidency for this month, the 15-member body also encouraged the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (known by the Portuguese acronym CPLP), in collaboration with the United Nations and African Union, to support this process.
Soldiers in Guinea-Bissau, which has a history of coups, misrule and political instability since it gained independence from Portugal in 1974, seized power on April 12. The coup came ahead of a presidential run-off election that was slated for April 22 - and prompted calls from the international community for the return to civilian rule and the restoration of constitutional order.
The press statement followed a meeting on Guinea-Bissau held in the Council last Thursday, during which UN officials stressed the need for all actors in the West African nation to work together to restore constitutional order following this year's coup d'e'tat and for unity among international partners on how to assist the country in this process.
"It will be important to ensure that all political actors and civil society in Guinea-Bissau work together to achieve a truly inclusive government in order to ensure a consensual transition," Joseph Mutaboba, the Secretary-General's Special Representative and head of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS), told that meeting.
The Council, in its statement on Monday, reaffirmed the importance of the coordination of international efforts to address the crisis in Guinea-Bissau and, in that context, called on the Secretary-General to actively engage in this process, "to harmonize the respective positions of international and regional partners."
Council members underlined the need to support Guinea-Bissau's efforts to establish a clear timetable for the organization of free, fair and transparent presidential and legislative elections.
They also underlined the need for concrete measures in key areas for long-term stability in Guinea-Bissau, among those the reform of the security sector, the promotion and respect of rule of law, the creation of an enabling environment for the enhanced control over the security forces, the fight against impunity and the fight against drug-trafficking and the promotion of social-economic development.