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UN Condemns Use Of Force In Guinea-Bissau

Security Council Condemns Use Of Force In Guinea-Bissau

Reacting to the recent assassinations of top military officials in Guinea-Bissau, the United Nations Security Council today said the parties in the country must not attempt to seize power by force.

In a statement read out in an open meeting by the Council's President for the month, Ambassador John C. Danforth of the United States, the Council condemned in the strongest terms the use of force to settle differences or address grievances.

It also stressed the need for urgent international measures to deal with restructuring of country's armed forces, and to assist the Government in tackling the crisis.

On 6 October actions by mutinous soldiers led to deaths of the Armed Forces Chief of Staff, Gen. Verissimo Correia Seabra, and the Chief of Human Resources, Col. Domingos de Barros.

The Council stressed that the Government and national authorities must remain committed to the promotion of the rule of law and the fight against impunity, including when considering ways of implementing a Memorandum signed on 10 October.

The 15-member body urged all political parties to continue working, in good faith, with national authorities to complete implementation of the Transitional Charter before the holding of the presidential elections by April 2005.

As the Government addresses the military, political, institutional and economic problems responsible for recurrent political turmoil and instability in Guinea-Bissau, the Council underlined the importance of addressing their root causes, as well as finding immediate solutions to improve the situation.

The Council also asked Secretary-General Kofi Annan to include in his next report on UN Peace-building Support Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNOGBIS) and suggestions on what contribution the United Nations could make towards an active and coordinated international effort to assist the country.

UNOGBIS was established in March 1999 to coordinate the efforts of the UN system after the civil strife of the late 1990s.

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