- The United Nations Security Council yesterday strongly condemned the attempted coup d’état in Guinea-Bissau, and urged all political groups in the impoverished west African country to resolve their disputes peacefully.
Dissident elements of the military are said to have launched an armed attack on the residence of President Joăo Bernardo Vieira in the capital, Bissau, early on Sunday morning, using machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. But reports said they were unsuccessful and Mr Vieira survived the attack.
In a statement to the press, Ambassador Jorge Ballestero of Costa Rica, which holds the Council presidency this month, said the 15-member panel regretted that the armed attack occurred just one week after legislative elections were staged in a peaceful and orderly manner.
“The members of the Security Council called on the government of Guinea-Bissau to bring to justice those responsible for this attack, and urged all parties in Guinea-Bissau to cooperate actively with the authorities in this regard,” Mr Ballestero said in a statement.
The Security Council “also urged all parties to resolve any disputes through political and peaceful means within the framework of the rule of law,” he added, echoing a similar statement on Sunday from a spokesperson for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Guinea-Bissau is one of several states on the agenda of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission, which aims to help poor countries avoid sliding back into war or chaos.
The country has struggled to combat recent growth in drug trafficking and organised crime, and also to sustain economic growth and political stability amid a series of civil conflicts, coups d’état and uprisings in recent decades.
Guinea-Bissau has for a decade been plagued with political instability and disruption, but the recent election victory by the PAIGC party had brought optimism in the country and abroad that stability may finally be assured.
Guinea-Bissau's PAIGC, won majority at the parliamentary polls held about two weeks ago, taking 64 out of the Bissau parliament's 100 seats.
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