Several African heads of state are in
Guinea Bissau to participate in the inauguration of President-elect Malam Bacai Sanha scheduled in the capital,
Sanha will replace
assassinated President Joao Bernardo Vieira after winning a July 26 run-off.
The military assassinated long time President Vieira in early March in a
revenge attack shortly after an explosion killed his rival, military chief of
staff Batista Tagme Na Waie.
is scheduled to be held in the spacious "September 24" stadium in
Guests participating in the ceremony include the President of Senegal,
Abdoulaye Wade, Angola's Jose Eduardo Dos Santos, and Cape Verde President
Political analysts are hopeful the inauguration of Mr. Sanha will
unite the country to chart a new course.
Vladimir Ronteiro, the United
Nations spokesman in Guinea Bissau said that the
U.N. is encouraging the new administration to involve opponents in the
country's governance to ensure stability.
can see in people's faces Guinea Bissau is happy because of this inauguration
(and) we expect that it will mark a new era for the country. In the last day
the authorities have been arranging everything… to prepare and show to the
world that things will now go as smoothly, and maybe the country will reach
what we want, which is peace and stability," Ronteiro said.
He said Guineans are
expressing happiness with the inauguration.
"They are very enthusiastic.
An appeal was made yesterday (Monday) on the radio inviting people to go to the
stadium and to attend the ceremony," he said.
Ronteiro said supporters of
the ruling party want to hear from the president elect ahead of Tuesday's
"Yesterday people (gathered)
at the PAIGC (African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape
Verde), the ruling party, expecting that the president will talk to them at
least to express solidarity," Ronteiro said.
He said there are
indications that Guineans want change.
"People are respectful, and
they want something to change, and they think that with the inauguration things
will definitely go for the better," he said.
Ronteiro said the United
Nations will encourage the administration to succeed.
"The UN is represented by
the assistant secretary general for political affairs… and talking to Guinea
Bissau counterparts expressed the support of the UN as well as the
international community partners that the international community will stand
beside Guinea Bissau and help tackle the problems," Ronteiro said.
He said the United Nations
will help the new administration resolve the anticipated challenges in
"We have a lot of issues. We
have of course the security sector reform. We have development, and we have
this inquiry commission of the assassination of March 2009… For sure the U.N is
with Guinea Bissau people," he said.
Ronteiro said the U.N is
encouraging the new administration to engage in consultations with opponents.
"The representative of the
secretary general is working with Guinea Bissau counterparts on the need of
inclusion. Include everybody, even if people have different positions
politically speaking," Ronteiro said.