The top UN envoy for Guinea-Bissau on Monday stressed the need for continued international engagement with the country after the expected departure of the UN peacebuilding mission by the end of the year.

Recent political developments in the country have led to a politically charged atmosphere with mounting mistrust among stakeholders.

Mutual accusations and reported acts of intimidation against those opposing the new political dispensation have created a hostile environment, making it difficult to reach a compromise for the sake of political stability and consensus-building around national peacebuilding priorities, said Rosine Sori-Coulibaly, the UN secretary-general’s special representative and head of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS).

“A prognosis of the current impasse and beyond underscores a need for continued and robust engagement by the international community to avoid a deterioration of the political and human rights situation, consolidate past democratic gains, and preserve the much-needed peace and stability,” she told the Security Council.

The political crisis and the parliamentary paralysis that emerged following the 2019 presidential election prevented UNIOGBIS from supporting urgent reforms, including the review of the Constitution, the electoral law and the law on political parties, she said. “Regretfully, therefore, UNIOGBIS mandate is unlikely to be fully implemented before the mission’s departure.”

Entrenched postures and divisions among political stakeholders pose a serious threat to stability and sustainable development.

All political forces must be encouraged to commit to constructive dialogue and consensus-building around national priorities.

The military and security forces must consistently be reminded not to interfere in politics. The security sector reform remains paramount, she said.

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