UN report says Guinea-Bissau lacks firm stability

Bissau- Guinea Bissau (PANA) -- The UN representative in Guinea Bissau has described the politico-military situation in the country as "ephemeral and unstable" whereby a fresh conflict may erupt.
To avoid such a scenario, there is urgent need to strengthen the fragile democratic institutions in order to stop the crisis in the country, the special envoy of the UN Secretary General in Bissau, Nana Sinkam Samuel warns in a new report.
"There is need to provide Guinea Bissau with urgent assistance to ensure that the country does not plunge into another military conflict with disastrous consequences", he says in the 22 June report.
He blames the country's appalling economic situation for the persistent volatility of the military and political situation, saying it worsens daily only to multiply poverty and create social tension and discourages foreign investors.
The discontent of soldiers is latent due to the delay in implementing the demobilisation and socio-economic reintegration programme for war veterans, numbering over 15,000.
Their redeployment requires about 17 million US dollars.
The army is essentially concerned about its restructuring.
Tension is seen in their ranks because they continue to face the non-payment of salary arrears and have political, ethnic or religious divisions.
Another important source of unrest is the ongoing conflict in Senegal's southern Casamance region, which has led the authorities to set up an elaborate security operation to avoid a spillover.
The political and financial situation is disturbing because of shortfall in cash flows as external aid comprises over 80 percent of the current national fiscal budget of 95 billion CFA francs.
Samuel points out numerous other challenges and urges donors to assist Guinea-Bissau to avoid a new round of crisis.

29 june 2001 16:32:00

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