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Restoration of constitutional order key to ending crisis in Guinea-Bissau UN envoy

19 April 2012 – The United Nations envoy for Guinea-Bissau today urged the international community to ensure that any solution for the current political crisis in the West African country is based on a process that reflects the will of the people and a commitment to the restoration of constitutional order.

“I believe that the parliamentary parties should be closely involved in any solution based on commitment to the restoration of constitutional order and addressing the question of inclusion,” said the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Guinea-Bissau, Joseph Mutaboba, in a briefing to the Security Council, via video link.

Soldiers in Guinea-Bissau – a country with a history of coups, misrule and political instability since it gained independence from Portugal in 1974 – seized power a week ago and detained interim President, Raimundo Pereira, and Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Júnior.

The putsch came ahead of the presidential run-off election that was slated for 22 April between Mr. Gomes Júnior and former president Kumba Yala.

Mr. Mutaboba, who is also the head of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS), which was set up in 2009 to promote stability in the country, told the Council that negotiations on a power deal between the junta and the some other elements have excluded the parliamentary majority party, the Partido Africano da Independência da Guiné e Cabo Verde (PAIGC).

“I call attention to the fact that any solution that excludes the PAIGC and other parliamentary parties is a recipe for a future crisis and would be a negation of the will of the people through elections in 2008,” said Mr. Mutaboba.

In her remarks to Thursday’s Council meeting, the Chair of the Guinea-Bissau Configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission, Ambassador Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti of Brazil, said the Council and the international community as a whole must act with resolve to assist Guinea-Bissau in breaking away, once and for all, from the cycle of violence, coup d’états, impunity and instability that has plagued the country for so long.

“The solution to the current crisis requires the immediate release of all the authorities presently detained by the coup perpetrators, the return of the Armed Forces to the barracks and the resumption of the electoral process,” said Ambassador. Ribeiro Viotti.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday voiced grave concern over the fact that, despite calls by the international community for the immediate restoration of constitutional order in Guinea-Bissau, the coup leaders have continued to deepen the political crisis through their declared plans to establish a transitional government.

Mr. Ban and the Security Council have strongly condemned the military coup and demanded the immediate restoration of constitutional order.

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