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UN: 'fragile' situation in Guinea-Bissau

Security Council expresses concern over 'fragile' situation in Guinea-Bissau

The United Nations Security Council today expressed concern over the fragile political situation in Guinea-Bissau and urged the country's leaders and the international community to work more purposefully together to ensure humanitarian and peace-building agendas are quickly put back on track as parliamentary elections draw close.

"It is the Council's expectation that candidates as well as political parties will not be subjected to violence and intimidation, and that the presence of international observers at these elections will be acceptable to all parties," the Council President for June, Russian Ambassador Sergey Lavrov, said in a statement read out at a formal meeting.

The 15-member body - set to send a mission to Guinea-Bissau and the rest of West Africa next week - appealed to the country's President and Government to ensure elections are conducted in a transparent, fair and credible manner, in accordance with the Constitution and the electoral law.

Stressing the importance of free speech and press, the Council said it was concerned over the human rights and civil liberties situation, and urged the Government to take the necessary measures to improve this situation.

"The Council also expresses the hope that following the successful conduct of the elections, the Government will embark on additional concrete measures to show further proof of its commitment to democracy and the rule of law," the statement added.

The Council appealed to the donor community to financially contribute to the implementation of the political and economical process in Guinea-Bissau, including necessary support for the legislative elections.

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