The UN Security Council has urged political leaders in Guinea-Bissau and their supporters to refrain from any action that could hamper the electoral process in the country.
Members of the Security Council made the call in a statement by its President, Mark Grant, of the United Kingdom on Saturday.
According to the statement, the council stress the need for the political leaders to uphold and respect the sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of Guinea-Bissau.
The statement urged them to resolve their disputes in accordance with the constitutional framework in line with the relevant African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) legal instruments.
It underscored the importance of successful presidential and legislative elections to achieving progress on critical peace building priorities in Guinea-Bissau.
The statement stressed the need for security sector reform, demobilisation of military and police, socio-economic development, fighting impunity and drug trafficking and taking forward the national dialogue on reconciliation.
“The Security Council urged Guinea-Bissau’s national authorities to continue addressing these issues and the UN as well as the international community to continue supporting Guinea Bissau’s national authorities to achieve these aims.
“The members of the Security Council emphasise the need for the national authorities in Guinea-Bissau to bring those responsible for any acts of election-related violence to justice’’
According to the statement, the council reiterates that the government of Guinea-Bissau bears the primary responsibility for ensuring the security of its population and creating an atmosphere conducive to the peaceful conduct of the elections.
The council urged the defence and security forces to respect civilian oversight and control of the military, the constitutional order and the rule of law.
It, however, implored political parties to engage in dialogue on preparations for the run-off election.
“The members of the Security Council are following closely the situation in Guinea-Bissau.
“They were briefed on March 28 by Special Representative of the Secretary General and Head of the UN Integrated Peace building Office in Guinea-Bissau and by Chair of the Guinea-Bissau Configuration of the Peace building Commission. ’’