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CITING ONGOING INSTABILITY, SECURITY COUNCIL RENEWS UN OFFICE IN GUINEA-BISSAU

By UN
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23 November - The Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations office in Guinea-Bissau until 31 December 2011, while voicing deep concern at the continuing instability in the country.

The UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS), established by the Council in 2009 as the successor to an earlier UN mission, is tasked with promoting stability in the West African nation, which has been beset by coups and political instability since it became independent in the early 1970s.

In the resolution that was unanimously adopted today, the Council voiced concern about the lack of civilian oversight and control of the armed forces and the continued detentions without due process of law that followed the events of 1 April.

On that day, troops under the command of the then-Deputy Chief of General Staff, Major General António N´djai, took control of the armed forces' headquarters, detaining the Chief of General Staff, Vice Admiral José Zamora Induta, and briefly holding Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Júnior.

The Council urged members of the armed forces to respect constitutional order, civilian rule and oversight, as well as the rule of law and human rights.

The 15-member body also urged the armed forces to refrain from any interference in political issues, to guarantee the security of the national institutions, as well as the population in general, and to fully participate in the reform of the defence and security sector.

In his latest report on Guinea-Bissau, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged both the civilian and military leadership to show commitment to achieving long-lasting stability in the country, and to restore the rule of law by fighting impunity and curbing organized crime.

He also called on the Guinea-Bissau's leadership to forge a national consensus on the best way to ensure the stabilization for the country.