Honduras: Ban voices concern over arrest of President

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with President José Manuel Zelaya Rosales in September 2008

29 June 2009 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed his deep concern over the situation in Honduras, voicing his strong support for the nation’s democratic institutions and speaking out against the arrest of its constitutional President.

According to media reports, President José Manuel Zelaya Rosales was overthrown yesterday, when a referendum was slated to be held on changing the Honduran constitution.

Mr. Ban “urges the reinstatement of the democratically elected representatives of the country and full respect for human rights, including safeguards for the security of President Zelaya, members of his family and his government,” according to a statement issued yesterday by his spokesperson.

He also urged all Hondurans to resolve their difference peacefully and “in the spirit of reconciliation.”

The statement noted that the Secretary-General welcomes the prompt diplomatic efforts undertaken by the Organization of American States (OAS), whose Permanent Council has held a special meeting on the matter.

“He trusts that international and domestic efforts will succeed in the promotion of a peaceful solution to the crisis through democratic means,” it said.

For his part, General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto said he is deeply outraged by the military’s ousting of Mr. Zelaya.

Speaking at the start of an Assembly meeting convened to discuss the matter, he said that yesterday’s events are a “throwback to another era that we had hoped was now a distant nightmare.”

With regional groups and world leaders having denounced the Honduran military’s action, Mr. D’Escoto called on the 192-member Assembly to “add its voice to underscore the universal rejection of this crime.

“Let us denounce the perpetrators with such unanimity that no military-backed regime in Honduras will be able to withstand the criticism and rejection of the world,” he added, calling for those responsible to be brought to justice.


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