5 June 2009
Secretary-General
SG/SM/12293
AFR/1856

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

SECRETARY-GENERAL, DISMAYED BY LATEST KILLINGS IN GUINEA-BISSAU, SAYS PATTERN


OF HIGH-PROFILE ASSASSINATIONS SETS BACK EFFORTS TO RESTORE RULE OF LAW


The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:


The Secretary-General is dismayed by the news of the assassinations of a candidate in the forthcoming presidential elections in Guinea-Bissau, Mr. Baciro Dabo, and of a Member of Parliament and former Minister of Defence, Mr. Helder Proenca, along with others.  The Secretary-General is concerned about the emerging pattern of killings of high-profile personalities in Guinea-Bissau.  Coming so soon after the assassinations of President Joćo Bernardo Vieira and General Tagme Na Waie, these criminal acts are a tragic setback for efforts to restore the rule of law and democratic processes in the country, but they should not be allowed to deter the forthcoming presidential elections.


These developments underscore once again the importance and urgency of conducting a thorough, credible and transparent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the assassinations in Guinea-Bissau.  The United Nations will be consulting with national authorities and the International Contact Group on Guinea-Bissau to explore what more needs to be done to end impunity and restore respect for the rule of law in the country.


Most urgently, the Secretary-General conveys his deepest condolences to the affected families and calls on the national authorities, including the country’s military, to ensure that the human rights of all citizens are upheld and protected.


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For information media • not an official record