, United Nations, United States, Feb 15 – The UN envoy for Guinea-Bissau on Wednesday urged the Security Council to push the West African country to urgently hold elections to break a political deadlock.
Modibo Ibrahim Toure asked the council to offer its support “in underscoring the importance of urgently organizing and holding legislative elections within the constitutionally-mandated timeline.”
Guinea-Bissau has been in the throes of a power struggle since August 2015, when President Jose Mario Vaz sacked then prime minister Domingos Simoes Pereira.
The envoy urged world powers to support a peace mission set up by the West African ECOWAS group and ensure it stays in Guinea-Bissau until presidential elections are held in 2019.
The ECOMIB mission will require financial support for its continued deployment, he said.
Last week, the 15-nation ECOWAS slapped sanctions on 19 lawmakers and associates of the president in a sign of frustration over the failure to end the impasse.
Talks mediated by Guinean President Alpha Conde in October 2016 had led to a deal aimed at naming a new prime minister respected by all sides, with a view to organising legislative elections.
But little progress has been made towards the points laid out in the so-called Conakry Accord.