UN Security Council condemns coup in Guinea Bissau
Amid the precarious situation in Guinea Bissau, UN Secrtary General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council have strongly condemned the military coup in the West African country and demanded immediate return to constitutional order.
“The members of the Security Council firmly denounce this incursion by the military into politics,” the Security Council statement said at the weekend.
Guinea Bissau coup comes some three weeks after soldiers in Mali staged a coup, overthrowing President Amadou Toumani Toure and setting up a junta that came under strong international pressure. Junta leader Capt Amadou Sanogo was forced to handover back to civilians this week.
The Security Council also demanded “the immediate restoration of constitutional order and the legitimate Government to allow for the completion of the ongoing electoral process, including the legislative elections,” the Security Council statement said.
Soldiers in Guinea-Bissau seized power Thursday night and are holding both the interim President, Raimundo Pereira, and Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Júnior.
The 15-member Security Council called on the coup makers to ensure the safety and security of the two leaders and all senior officials currently detained, and demanded their immediate release.
Guinea Bissau has a history of political instability since independence in the 1970s. It has seen countless number of coups and coup attempts, and the current coup comes ahead of presidential run-off election scheduled for April 22nd between outgoing Prime Minister Gomes Júnior and former President Kumba Yala, who had claimed the first round was rigged.
Secretary General Ban has stressed the need for the Armed Forces and its leadership in Guinea Bissau to respect civilian authority, constitutional order and the rule of law.
He also called on the coup leaders to take urgent and immediate steps to return the country to civilian rule.