UN urged to resolve Guinea-Bissau crisis

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New York - The United Nations Security Council was on Monday asked to help restore constitutional order in Guinea-Bissau, including imposing sanctions against military leaders who toppled the West African country's government on April 12.

At UN headquarters in New York, African governments called on the 15-nation Security Council to deploy a peacekeeping force to Guinea-Bissau, where the military junta has rejected calls to restore the constitution and the country's elected leaders.

Mamadou Jalo Pires, foreign minister of Guinea-Bissau's ousted ruling party PAIGC, called for the deployment of peacekeepers from the UN, African Union and the Economic Commission of West African States (Ecowas).

“Our primary goal should be to drive out the rebels and restore constitutional order,” Pires told the council.

UN special envoy Joseph Mutaboba updated the Security Council on the situation in Guinea-Bissau, saying the continued tension between military and political groups was affecting the population.

“In this regard, the council may wish to consider the imposition of targeted measures against those continuing to impede the return to constitutional order in the country,” Mutaboba said.

The European Union has imposed sanctions on the six military officers who toppled the government.

In negotiations led by Ecowas, the junta has refused to reinstate President Raimundo Pereira and balked at demands for restoration of constitutional order in the country.

Angolan Foreign Minister Georges Rebelo Chikoti, speaking on behalf of Portuguese-speaking countries, asked the Security Council to work out an “acceptable solution that satisfies the international community”.

He called for the creation of a contact group composed of the AU, Ecowas and Portuguese-speaking countries to help resolve the crisis. - Sapa-dpa


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