The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Guinea-Bissau, Mr. José Ramos-Horta, on Thursday urged Guinea-Bissau’s authorities, political parties and parliamentarians to complete a road map for the rest of the transition by the end of March and to form a broad-based government as soon as possible.
“We know that it is not easy, given the sensitivities and differences that exist in Guinea-Bissau,” added Mr. Ramos-Horta at a press conference held at the headquarters of the UN Peace-Building Support Mission in Guinea-Bissau, UNIOGBIS, “but I am launching an appeal for you to sit and talk, placing the interest of Guinea-Bissau above everything else, to form a broad-based government”. Let us all create a climate for the elections, “a healthy climate, without pressure, without tensions, in the interest of Guinea-Bissau,” he added.
The Special Representative briefed the journalists on his recent missions to various African and European capitals, stressing that the international community continues to be interested in Guinea-Bissau. “I have to say in all frankness that I was happy to know that, despite so much disenchantment with Guinea-Bissau, owing to the frequent cycles of instability and coups d’état, no-one with whom I spoke […] said ‘We do not even want to hear about Guinea-Bissau’.”
“And they all continue to be worried about the human rights situation, to be worried about the situation of extreme poverty […],” he added. “They all expressed concern, evidently, about the urgent need to hold elections, but also to begin the process of reorganising the Armed Forces.”
For the Special Representative, if the electoral process is “indispensable”, the post-election period is also very important for the future of the country. He stressed that, in that phase, conditions will have to be created to enable “the international community to help the Guinean state to reorganise, to reconstitute itself”.
“This is going to demand the mobilisation, led by the UN with its partners, ECOWAS, the AU, CPLP, the EU, of considerable financial resources so that the Guinean State can be reconstituted, not only the armed forces, but the judiciary, the police, the different ministries,” Ramos-Horta stated. “In other words, the state apparatus has to be reorganised, modernised, to sustain democracy, and fulfil the responsibility of the State, which is to provide the society with services.”