United Nations calls on international support for implementation of SSR roadmap in Guinea-Bissau

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The Special Representatives of the United Nations Secretary General in West Africa today called on international community to support the implementation of the Security Sector Reform and stabilization roadmap in Guinea-Bissau.

During their twentieth high-level consultation in Dakar in order to facilitate the coordination of the action of the UN promoting the stability of the sub-region, the Heads of the UN missions in West Africa called for international partners support to the road map “including the pension fund for demobilized and retired military and security personnel”.

The Heads of missions also welcomed the recent endorsement by the Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS of the ECOWAS-CPLP roadmap for supporting security sector reform (SSR) and stabilization in Guinea-Bissau, and the concrete steps taken by Guinea-Bissau authorities in this regard as well as the “deployment of the Angolan SSR mission (MISSANG) which will contribute, alongside the CPLP, ECOWAS, the EU and the UN, among others, to assist Guinea-Bissau in the reform and restructuring of its security architecture.”

While encouraging the authorities of Guinea-Bissau to pursue their efforts for good governance, the Heads of Missions encouraged the authorities of Guinea Bissau to pursue their efforts to address the scourge of drug trafficking and organized crime.

The meeting was chaired by Mr. Said Djinnit, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General (SRSG) for West Africa (UNOWA) and brought together Ms. Ellen MargretheLøj, SRSG in Liberia (UNMIL);Mr. Y. J. Choi, SRSG in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI);Mr. Joseph Mutaboba, SRSG in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS) and Michael von Schulenburg, Executive Representative for the UN Integrated Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL).

The Heads of Missions in West Africa welcomed positive development in the sub-region since their last meeting in February 2011. They welcomed the holding of elections in Benin, Cap Verde, Niger and Nigeria which shows democratic progress in the sub-region. They however deplored tensions and violence in some countries. They therefore reiterated their support to the states and regional organization for the holding of free, fair and peaceful elections, in line with the Declaration of the Praia Regional conference (18-20 May) on electoral best practices in West Africa, which was organized by UNOWA and partners.

The Heads of Missions welcomed the ending of the electoral crisis and positive developments of the political situation in Côte d'Ivoire. With regard to Liberia, the Heads of Mission expressed concerns for the continuing refugee crisis along the border with Côte d’Ivoire, where UNHCR reports that over 180,000 refugees have crossed into Liberia since the beginning of the Ivorian crisis. The Heads of Missions highlighted substantive achievements in Sierra Leone in terms of peace building, restoration of national authority, development of democratic institutions and socio-economic progress.

The Heads of Missions in West Africa, raised concerns about the security situation in the Sahel Band and welcomed recent initiatives by countries concerned to reinforce their collaboration in fighting terrorism and promote development in the affected areas.

The Heads of Missions expressed their determination to join efforts in combatting drug trafficking and organized crime in West Africa through the West Africa Coast Initiative (WACI) launched to support the implementation of ECOWAS action plan on illicit drug trafficking, organized crime and drug abuse (2008-2011).

They underscored their determination to continue joining efforts and working closely in order to contribute to crisis prevention and resolution– in particular those related to electoral processes, combating insecurity, preserving democratic gains and enhance development in West Africa.

On the occasion of the international peacekeepers day, the Heads of Missions paid a tribute to UN personnel including West African military contingents and citizens devoting their lives to the promotion of regional stability and peace on earth. (With UNOWA)