UN slams Guinea-Bissau junta

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New York - The United Nations Security Council on Monday condemned Guinea-Bissau's military coup plotters for maintaining their grip on the West African nation, a notorious international drug transshipment point.

A press statement read out by the council's president, Colombian Ambassador Nestor Osorio, said the council members also “expressed their concern with reports of an increase in drug trafficking since the April 12 coup d'etat”.

In the statement, which is not enforceable, the council members demanded that Guinea-Bissau adopt reforms for “the promotion and respect of rule of law, the creation of an enabling environment for the enhanced control over the security forces, the fight against impunity and the fight against drug-trafficking”.

In May, the council imposed travel bans on the coup leaders and their key supporters, demanding at the time that they reinstate the legitimate democratic government immediately. So far there have been no moves to restore democracy.

Guinea-Bissau was just weeks away from holding a presidential runoff election when soldiers attacked the front-runner's home and arrested him along with the country's interim president on April 12. They have since fled the country.

No leader in nearly 40 years of independence has completed his term in Guinea-Bissau, a former Portuguese colony on Africa's western coast that has long been plagued by coups and has become a major transit point for drug trafficking from South America to Europe.

The Security Council is principally supporting the West African regional group, Ecowas, as a way of coaxing Guinea-Bissau back to constitutional order. Ecowas plans to send up to 600 troops to Guinea-Bissau to try to restore order.

Politicians in the country are moving ahead with a transitional government but the Security Council made clear it wants the previous government restored. - Sapa-AP


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