UN Special Representative says Guinea-Bissau Can Be Stable
UN Special Representative says Guinea-Bissau Can Be Stable

The U.N. Special Representative for Guinea-Bissau says the country has the potential to become stable and developed.

Joseph Mutaboba says development in Guinea-Bissau has been obscured by repeated crises. In the 35 years since independence from Portugal, the tiny West African country has been hit by coups, assassinations and a brief civil war.  Child mortality is high, health care is limited, and the country's colonial-era buildings are crumbling.

Mutaboba says Guinea-Bissau has the potential to be as developed as other countries in the region.  But he says crises seem to repeat themselves year after year.

They are a result of changing alliances, he says, within the military, government and even within society.

He says in a country of 1.6 million people there is high demand for senior positions and not enough vacancies.  Politicians compete with one another, when they should be working together as a collective force for change.

He says the key to development in Guinea-Bissau is for key players to put aside their individual goals and work for the interests of all Bissau-Guineans.

Mutaboba says Guinea-Bissau is a small, poor country that has the potential to be rich.