June 2012 Monthly Forecast

Posted 1 June 2012
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Guinea-Bissau

Expected Council Action
In June, the Council is expected to hold consultations on the implementation of the measures set out in resolution 2048 of 18 May on Guinea-Bissau, including a travel ban on five members of the Military Command, and on an initial Secretary-General’s report on steps taken in the country to restore constitutional order. Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe will likely brief the Council.

It is likely that the list of those targeted for sanctions will be expanded. It is also likely that additional measures, including an embargo on arms and asset freezes, will be added.

The mandate of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS) expires on 28 February 2013.

Key Recent Developments
On 18 May, the Council adopted resolution 2048, imposing a ban on foreign travel on army leaders who seized power in Guinea-Bissau on 12 April. The soldiers called themselves the Military Command, and their coup aborted preparations for run-off presidential elections slated for 22 April. The five soldiers named in the resolution are Gen. António Injai (a.k.a António Indjai), Maj. Gen. Mamadu Ture (a.k.a. N’Krumah), Gen. Estêvão Na Mena, Brig. Gen. Ibraima Camará (a.k.a. “Papa Camará”) and Lt. Col. Daba Naualna (a.k.a. Daba Na Walna).

The resolution decided to establish a new sanctions committee to monitor the implementation of the sanctions which  could review “on a case-by-case basis” requests for the travel ban to be suspended or lifted if “an exemption would further the objectives of peace and national reconciliation in Guinea-Bissau and stability in the region.” (At press time, the committee has not yet been constituted.)

On 21 May, Council members visiting West Africa held a high-level meeting on Guinea-Bissau with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, under the framework of the AU Peace and Security Council-UN partnership.

Key Issues
The key issue for the Council remains the speedy restoration of the constitutional order and the completion of the electoral process begun in March.
Other issues include combating the stranglehold of drug trafficking and organised crime networks on the military and political elite, as well as undertaking a comprehensive security sector reform process.

Underlying Issues
The case of Tchuto epitomises two key underlying problems facing the peacebuilding process in Guinea Bissau: the threat posed to civil authority by the armed forces and the widespread sense of impunity for senior military officers. A military court tried Tchulo briefly for the political assassinations of 2009, but in May 2010 the case was inexplicably closed. Shortly after, in October 2010, Tchuto was promoted.  

Options
Options for the Council include:

  • expanding the list of individuals banned from travelling to include several more figures, including civilians, who are helping the Military Command; and
  • adding additional measures, including asset freezes, to those in resolution 2048.

Council Dynamics
Though there may be disagreement among Council members about approach, there seems to be unanimous agreement about ending the military regime in Guinea-Bissau and restoring some form of constitutional order. Council members have been divided as to the respective roles and leads to be assigned to ECOWAS and the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries, and as to the terms offered by ECOWAS to the Military Command in a year-long transition plan that was discussed with the military in two rounds of negotiations in Banjul, The Gambia and Dakar, Senegal on 29 April and 3 May respectively.

Togo is leading on this issue though Portugal sponsored resolution 2048. 

UN Documents

Security Council Resolution

  • S/RES/2048 (18 May 2012) imposed travel bans on coup leaders and set up a new sanctions committee.

Secretary-General’s Report

  • S/2012/280 (30 April 2012) was a special report of the Secretary-General on the latest developments in Guinea-Bissau.

Presidential Statement

Press Statement

  • SC/10607 (13 April 2012) condemned the coup and called for immediate release of interim President Raimundo Pereira, Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior and all senior officials currently detained. 

Full Forecast