- The UN Secretary-General has said that he is “encouraged” by recent political developments in Guinea, especially the interim head of State’s commitment for a return to constitutional order, calling for cooperation among all parties to solve the West African nation’s problems.
In a statement issued yesterday by his spokesperson, Ban Ki-Moon said that he welcomes the invitation for the opposition to put forward a consensus Prime Minister, as well as the security guarantees given for all people in Guinea, including its political leaders.
Last month, President Moussa Dadis Camara – who seized power in a coup in 2008 following the death of long-time president Lansana Conté – survived an assassination attempt.
“The Secretary-General reiterates the commitment of the United Nations to support Guinea towards a rapid restoration of constitutional order in a peaceful and consensual manner,” the statement said.
He also called on the military and Government to abide by their earlier commitment to not contest the upcoming elections.
Mr Ban, the statement said, “also appeals to all political stakeholders to work together to find lasting solutions to the challenges facing the country,” and the UN will continue working with the African Union (AU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and other partners.
Last September, armed forces opened fire on unarmed demonstrators at an opposition rally in the capital, Conakry, killing at least 150 civilians. Aside from the death toll, countless other protesters were raped or attacked by members of the country’s armed forces.
That incident “widened the rift between the ruling military authorities on the one hand and opposition parties and civil society on the other, and led to a significant heightening of tension across the country,” Mr Ban wrote in his latest report on the UN Office in West Africa (UNOWA).
He also warned in the report that the “deteriorating” situation in Guinea could jeopardize the fragile peace processes underway in the nation’s Mano River Basin neighbours – Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone – as well threaten the stability of the greater subregion.
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