8 September 2009 Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today used the inauguration of a newly elected president in Guinea-Bissau to pledge United Nations support to enhance peace and development in a country that has been plagued by grinding poverty and periodic bouts of civil war, coups, assassinations, and drug trafficking.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban said the West African country was turning a new page in its history with the inauguration of Malam Bacai Sanhá of the ruling African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde, who beat Kumba Ialá of the opposition Social Renewal Party in a run-off election in July.
The election followed the assassination of then-president João Bernardo Vieira in March. Since then a presidential candidate and a former defence minister were also killed.
“The Secretary-General reiterates the support of the United Nations for the consolidation of peace and the promotion of socio-economic development in the country,” the statement said. “He is confident that, with the support of international partners, the people and leaders of Guinea-Bissau will continue their efforts to strengthen democracy and foster respect for the rule of law.”
In July, Mr. Ban commended the Government, security forces, election officials and political parties for the peaceful staging of the run-off round.
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