Maldives: UN official urges all sides to form national unity government

Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernandez-Taranco. UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

13 February 2012 – All sides in the current political crisis in the Maldives must urgently reach agreement on forming an inclusive government of national unity, a senior United Nations official said today, calling also for a “credible and independent” probe into recent events in the Indian Ocean country.

Assistant Secretary-General Oscar Fernandez-Taranco told reporters in Malé, the Maldivian capital, at the end of a five-day visit that “there are no external solutions” to the country’s political problems.

“All must work together, constructively, for the good of the nation,” he said. “We appreciate the need for healing and reconciliation in the wake of these traumatic events. We urge all to look fThe Maldives cannot afford a descent into violence and protracted instability that would jeopardize the progress achieved by the country since 2008, and its economic future.orward now, in a spirit of national consensus and genuine cooperation.”

Last week Mohamed Nasheed resigned as president of the Maldives after days of protests and tensions between the Government and military and police, and he was succeeded by his former deputy Mohammed Waheed Hassan.

Media reports indicate that Mr. Nasheed has said his resignation was not voluntary and has since faced a warrant for his arrest. Fresh protests have also been held.

During his visit to the Maldives Mr. Fernandez-Taranco met with key political figures, representatives of State institutions and civil society groups as part of his efforts to monitor recent developments. He said he stressed the need for calm throughout his discussions.

“Both demonstrators and security forces must exercise utmost restraint. There is a need for sufficient space for a peaceful solution to the present crisis to take hold. Therefore, I call upon all parties to ensure that no incitements to violence and acts of violence occur.

“The Maldives cannot afford a descent into violence and protracted instability that would jeopardize the progress achieved by the country since 2008, and its economic future.”

The Assistant Secretary-General said that while there was “considerable controversy” over recent events, everyone he spoke with agreed on the importance of preserving democratic gains, upholding the constitution, protecting human rights and strengthening the rule of law.

“There is an urgent need for all sides concerned to come to an agreement on forming a government, based on the principle of inclusiveness and national unity, and reach a consensus on the way forward,” he underlined.

“There needs to be a credible and independent investigation by a national mechanism into the developments of the past weeks, and the events that led up to them.”


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