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UN Condemns Attempt to Kill Guinea-Bissau Leader

Security Council Strongly Condemns Failed Attempt To Overthrow Guinea-Bissau Leader

New York, Nov 25 2008 5:10PM

The Security Council today strongly condemned the attempted coup d’état in Guinea-Bissau over the weekend and urged all political groups in the fragile and impoverished West African country to resolve their disputes peacefully.

Dissident elements of the military launched an armed attack on the residence of President João Bernardo Vieira in the capital, Bissau, early on Sunday morning, using machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. But they were unsuccessful and Mr. Vieira survived the attack.

In a statement to the press, Ambassador Jorge Ballestero of Costa Rica, which holds the Council presidency this month, said the 15-member panel regretted that the armed attack occurred just one week after legislative elections were staged in a peaceful and orderly manner.

“The members of the Security Council called on the Government of Guinea-Bissau to bring to justice those responsible for this attack, and urged all parties in Guinea-Bissau to cooperate actively with the authorities in this regard,” Mr. Ballestero said .

The Council “also urged all parties to resolve any disputes through political and peaceful means within the framework of the rule of law,” he added, echoing a similar statement on Sunday from a spokesperson for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Guinea-Bissau is one of a handful of States on the agenda of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission, which aims to help poor countries avoid sliding back into war or chaos.

The country has struggled to combat recent growth in drug trafficking and organized crime, and also to sustain economic growth and political stability amid a series of civil conflicts, coups d’état and uprisings in recent decades.

ENDS

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