Travel Ban Issued on Guinea-Bissau Five Coup Leaders

A travel ban was issued against five military officers who seized power from the civilian government in Guinea-Bissau last month.

The Security Council issued the travel ban and urged Member States to ensure that the sanctioned individuals do not enter or transit through their territories.

The travel ban affects coup leaders General Antonio Injai, Major-General Mamadu Ture, General Estevao Na Mena, Brigadier-General Ibraima Camara, and Lieutenant-Colonel Daba Naualna.

A wide view of the Security Council as it meets on the crisis in GuineaBissau, where a military coup d’etat took place almost one month ago, on 12 April. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

In the same resolution adopted in Friday, the Council demanded that the Guinea-Bissau military leadership take immediate steps to restore and respect constitutional order, including holding democratic elections, ensuring that all soldiers return to barracks, and requiring that members of the “military command” relinquish their positions of authority.

The Council members may strengthen the sanctions through additional measures, such as an embargo on arms and financial measures.

The Council emphasized the need for all national stakeholders and Guinea-Bissau’s international and bilateral partners to remain committed to the restoration of constitutional order.

In additiion, the Council also encouraged the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to continue its mediation efforts, in coordination with the United Nations.

The Council also expressed concern over reports of looting, including of State assets, human rights violations, including arbitrary detentions, ill treatment of detainees, repression of peaceful demonstrations and restrictions on the freedom of movement.

The Council also underlined that those responsible for such abuses must be held accountable as well.

In addition, the Council requested Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to remain actively engaged in the mediation process.

Earlier this month, as negotiation towards finding an inclusive sustainable solution to Guinea Bissau’s turmoil continues, the current political crisis impedes livelihoods of the majority of the population.

According to UN, the political instability has worsened the living conditions of its citizens.

On December 2011, media reports indicated that Guinea-Bissau’s navy commander has been arrested after disturbances erupted, which some of the country’s senior officials described as a coup attempt.

Army chief Antonio Indjai said authorities had arrested navy chief Natchuto Bubo for attempting to sieze power, while the ill leader of coup-prone West African country underwent medical treatment abroad.

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

March this year, citizens of Guinea-Bissau went to elect a new president.

The coup-prone country’s election took place two months after the death of President Malam Bacai Sanha, who died following a prolonged illness.

Violence has marked the country’s history since it fought for, and ultimately won, independence from Portugal in 1974. Prominent rivalries between military and political leaders have sparked repeated coups and attempted coups, and a civil war in the late 1990s.

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.