Media reports indicated that Guinea-Bissau’s navy commander has been arrested after disturbances erupted yesterday, 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 is believed to be undergoing medical treatment abroad.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today condemned the use of force to settle differences in Guinea-Bissau and called for the respect of the lawful civilian authorities in the West African country.
Mr. Ban encouraged the country’s authorities to respect due process in the investigation of the reported events, saying he is following the situation. He reaffirmed the support of the United Nations to the peacebuilding process in the country.
“The primacy of the lawful civilian authorities according to the constitution must be respected.” -Mr. Ban
Later this year, the implementation of a peacebuilding plan and social and political reforms in Guinea-Bissau were at the centre of discussions between Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Prime Minister of the West African country, Carlos Gomes Junior.
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.