Security Council renews UN presence in Guinea-Bissau by a further six months

The Security Council extended the mandate of the current United Nations mission in Guinea-Bissau for another six months, and requested Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to establish an integrated peace building office in the country, beginning on 1 January 2010.
The UN Peace building Support Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNOGBIS) will continue its tasks until 31 December 2009, according to the resolution adopted unanimously by the Council, UN News Centre reports.
That office will then be succeeded by the UN Integrated Peace building Office in Guinea-Bissau, to be known as UNIOGBIS, which will be set up for an initial period of 12 months, starting on 1 January 2010, as proposed by Mr. Ban in his recent report to the Council.
The new office will be responsible for, among others, strengthening the capacity of national institutions, supporting the establishment of efficient law enforcement and helping to mobilize international assistance.
The country, which has been rocked by a series of civil conflicts, coups d`état and uprisings in recent decades, has witnessed a string of political killings in recent months.
In early March, President Joao Bernardo Vieira and Chief of Staff Tagme Na Waie were assassinated, and then earlier this month, Baciro Dabo, a candidate in the 28 June presidential elections, and Helder Proenca, a Member of Parliament and former Minister of Defense, were killed.
The Council, in today`s resolution, “calls on the Government of Guinea-Bissau to conduct credible and transparent investigations into the political assassinations in March and June 2009 and to bring to justice those responsible for these acts.”
It also called on the Government and all political actors “to work together in order to set up the best conditions for national reconciliation and to consolidate peace and security throughout Guinea-Bissau.”
In particular, the 15-member body urged Guinea-Bissau`s political leaders to refrain from involving the military in politics, and requested them to use legal and peaceful means to solve their differences.
In addition, all members of the Armed Forces, including its leaders, were urged to abide by civilian rule and to refrain from any interference in political issues, and to guarantee the security of the national institutions, as well as the population in general.