News

Guinea-Bissau Foreign Minister Appeals to UN for Stabilization Force

Margaret Besheer

Guinea-Bissau's foreign minister, who was outside the country when elements of the military seized power one week ago in a coup d'état, has appealed to the United Nations Security Council to authorize a stabilization force to help restore the legitimate elected government.

Foreign Minister Mamadú Jaló Pires told the 15-nation council that since 1998, his country's military has been responsible for four coup d'états and the murder of one president as well as several other high-ranking officials.  He also accused members of the military of having links to the international drug trafficking cartels that plague the tiny West African nation.

Because of these events, he said the country needs the assistance of a stabilization force of peacekeepers from regional groups ECOWAS and the African Union, as well as the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries  known as the CPLP, mandated by the United Nations to help reform the security sector.

"The deployment of a peacekeeping force to Guinea-Bissau, authorized by the Security Council, with a broad mandate and over an extended period of time in order to definitively turn the page and allow for the establishment of a legitimate, democratic state in the Republic of Guinea-Bissau," he said.

The April 12 coup took place as presidential candidates were set to begin campaigning for a run-off election that was to be held April 29.

Minister Jaló said it is unclear where and in what condition Interim President Raimundo Pereira and leading presidential candidate Carlos Gomes, Junior are being held after their detention by the coup's perpetrators.

Gomes won the first round of voting and appeared to have a comfortable lead in the run-off against former president Kumba Yala, who has strong ties to the military.
Guinea-Bissau is a former Portuguese colony and retains close relations with Lisbon.

Portuguese Foreign Minister Paulo Portas, who flew in for Thursday's Security Council session, said those responsible for the April 12 coup should be targeted with sanctions, including travel bans and asset freezes.

"The European Union, beyond suspending its cooperation with Guinea-Bissau, will be ready to move forward with sanctions on individuals who continue to obstruct peace, security and the normal functioning of the constitutional institutions.  We call on this council to consider similar targeted measures.  We also believe that this council should assume its responsibility and seriously consider the call of the legitimate government ofGuinea-Bissau for a United Nations-mandated multilateral, stabilization mission," Portas said.

He said such a mission would include contingents from ECOWAS, the African Union, and the community of Portuguese speaking countries (CPLP).

Ivory Coast Ambassador Youssoufou Bamba, who spoke on behalf of ECOWAS, said the West African bloc intends to "immediately deploy a military contingent" to ensure the protection of important personalities and institutions, as well as the envisioned transition and electoral process.

Angola has had 500 troops in Guinea-Bissau for the last year to help implement security sector reform.  Angolan Foreign Minister George Chikoti, who addressed the meeting on behalf of the CPLP, also supported the call for creating a stabilization force, asking the Security Council to adopt "appropriate measures" to lead to the restoration of order.

Diplomats said the Security Council would probably want to see all regional mediation efforts exhausted before considering authorizing a small stabilization mission comprising Portuguese-speaking and regional countries.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 02, 2015 6:19 PM
Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.

VOA Blogs