Security Council Rejects Establishment of National Council in Guinea-Bissau

As the recent turmoil in Guinea-Bissau catches the world’s attention, the UN Security Council today said it rejects the unconstitutional establishment of a Transitional National Council by the military leadership and its supporters.

In her statement today at DC, US Representative to the UN Ambassador E. Rice said the Security Council recalls its Press Statement SC/10607 of 13th April 2012 and reiterates its strong condemnation of the military coup by the military leadership and political elements in Guinea-Bissau.

The Security Council asserts the military coup has undermined the conclusion of the legitimate presidential electoral process. It also reiterated its strong condemnation of the coup, and expressed deep concern over reports of violent repression of peaceful demonstrations, looting, restriction of freedom of movement, the arbitrary detention of civilians and demands their release.

Philip Parham, Deputy Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the UN and President of the Security Council for March, briefs the press following the Council’s meeting on the situation in GuineaBissau. UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

In addition, the Security Council demands the immediate restoration of the constitutional order as well as the reinstatement of the legitimate government of Guinea-Bissau.

Ms. Rice stresses that the Security Council further demands the immediate and unconditional release of the interim President Raimundo Pereira, Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior and all officials currently detained in order to enable the completion of the presidential and legislative elections.

“The Security Council underlines the need to ensure the safety and security of those detained and that those responsible for violent and illegal acts must be held accountable.” -Ms. Rice

Ms. Rice says the Council calls on the military leadership to release information on the number of arrests and the names and whereabouts of those arrested and further calls upon the military to protect human rights including the rights to freedom of movement, peaceful assembly and expression.

The Security Council welcomes and supports the active engagement and measures undertaken by the AU, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), Ms. Rice underlined.

The Security Council urges Guinea-Bissau’s partners to further strengthen these efforts and requests the Secretary General to support these endeavors, namely through his Special Representatives.

In addition, the UN Security Council also raised the possibility of targeted sanctions against the perpetrators and supporters of the military coup, should the situation remain unresolved.

The Council stands ready to consider possible further measures, including targeted sanctions against the perpetrators and supporters of the military coup, should the situation remain unresolved.

The Security Council stresses that the recurrence of illegal interference of the military in politics contributes to the persistence of instability and a culture of impunity, and hampers efforts towards consolidation of the rule of law, implementation of Security Sector Reform, promotion of development and entrenchment of a democratic culture, Ms. Rice stressed.

In addition, the members of the Security Council emphasize the need to uphold and respect the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Guinea-Bissau.

Last week, the small country of Guinea-Bissau has plunged into crisis as military coup took control of radio and television stations.

The military violence took place just weeks before a runoff presidential election scheduled at the end of April.

Reports say the country is known for its coups, political assassinations and thriving drug trade.

Accounts were recorded stated that streets are said to be filled with soldiers with heavy weapons and the country’s democratic values are under strain.

Earlier this week, soldiers have reportedly arrested the prime minister known for dealing cocaine to Europe.

With the turmoil ready to erupt in the tiny country of no more than 1.5 million people, the United States of America has expressed condemnation of the attempt by certain elements of the military to forcibly seize power and undermine the legitimate civilian leadership of Guinea-Bissau.

On 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.