UN condemns attack on Guinea-Bissau military base

Ministry of Education in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau. Photo: IRIN/Anna Jefferys

22 October 2012 – The United Nations condemns an attack on a military base in Guinea-Bissau which resulted in numerous deaths, a spokesperson for the world body announced today.

“We are appealing for calm and calling on all in Guinea-Bissau to resolve differences by peaceful means, including through inclusive dialogue,” the spokesperson added in a statement responding to a question asked during today’s daily press briefing held at UN Headquarters in New York.

In the statement, the spokesperson noted that the United Nations regretted the loss of life and was following the situation in the African country closely.

According to media reports, six people were killed yesterday following a gun-battle between Government forces and unspecified armed elements at an air-force base in Bra, seven kilometres outside of the country’s capital, Bissau.

Guinea-Bissau has a tumultuous history of coups, misrule and political instability since it gained independence from Portugal in 1974. Most recently, rogue soldiers seized power in a military take-over which came just days ahead of the country’s 22 April presidential run-off election, prompting calls from the international community for the return to civilian rule and the restoration of constitutional order.

Against that backdrop, ongoing advocacy and mediation efforts, spearheaded by the UN Integrated Peace-Building Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS) and the African Union, have been aimed at reviving dialogue between the country’s political players.

In his statement, the UN spokesperson added that the United Nations would continue to work with Bissau-Guineans and international partners to implement the Security Council’s resolution 2048, adopted in May this year, in which the 15-member body demanded immediate steps to restore and respect constitutional order, including a democratic electoral process.


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