Situation ‘Calm’ in Guinea-Bissau After Disturbances

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Spokesperson Vladimir Monteiro for the United Nations peacebuilding mission in Guinea-Bissau today said calm has returned to Guinea-Bissau and the Government is functioning normally two days after a group of military officers attacked the army headquarters in an attempt to seize weapons.

Mr. Montiero reported that African Union [AU] Commission’s President Jean Ping also visited Guinea-Bissau today. Mr. Ping met with the national authorities and international partners, including UN representatives, to discuss the situation, particularly the peacebuilding process and security sector reform.

“People are working, public transports are functioning, but at the same time there are several statements at civil society level, for example, regarding the 26 December events. We also have some political parties taking a stand on what happened.” -Mr. Montiero

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SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon (right) meets with Carlos Gomes Junior, Prime Minister of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Mr. Montiero cited Guinea-Bissau’s navy chief has been arrested after an attempted coup on Monday. He stated a group of soldiers had attacked the armed forces headquarters in a bid to seize weapons.

The group also attacked the offices of the chief-of-general staff. Dozens of military officers have been arrested in the West African nation for charges of inciting coup attempt in the country.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon yesterday condemned the use of force to settle differences in Guinea-Bissau.

“The primacy of the lawful civilian authorities according to the constitution must be respected.” -Mr. Ban

UNIOGBIS was set up last year as a successor to the UN Peacebuilding Support Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNOGBIS), which had been in the country since 1999 as part of international efforts to help it recover from civil war in which thousands were killed, wounded or displaced.

A week ago the Security Council renewed the mandate of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS) until February 2013 to consolidate peace and stability and urged the Government and other political actors to work together towards that goal.

In the years that followed, the country was plagued by coups, coup attempts and, in 2009, the assassination of then president Joao Bernardo Vieira.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.