Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau at a "crossroads" after success of transitional process: UN report

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With the transitional process completed, Guinea-Bissau stands at a "critical crossroads," energized by the progress made so far but conscious of the enormous challenges that lie ahead, according to a just released report by Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the latest developments in the country.
"The people of Guinea-Bissau have shown a clear desire for peace, but the daunting needs that remain are a reminder that this is not a time for complacency," the report says, adding that the United Nations has played and will continue to play an important role in the process.

"Guinea-Bissau today represents a case where it can indeed be said that the United Nations ... can, at modest cost, make a meaningful contribution to a country's efforts to move from a state of war to one of peace and gradual return to constitutional order," the Secretary-General writes.

He notes that by its recent decision to extend mandate of the UN Peace-building Support Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNOGBIS) through March 2001 the Security Council has demonstrated the international community's will to support the country's peace process.

The report points out that following the January elections and the formation of the new Government in February, President Kumba Yala has set about establishing the post-electoral priorities, including the consolidation of democracy, the depoliticization of the army, the reintegration of military staff and the relaunching of the economy. Health, education, agriculture and "good governance" have also been identified as requiring urgent attention, the report notes.