What's In Blue

Posted Tue 27 Mar 2012

Guinea-Bissau Briefing and Consultations

On Wednesday (28 March), Joseph Mutaboba, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Guinea-Bissau, is scheduled to brief the Council via video-conference on recent developments in the country. This will be followed by consultations among Council members. Mutaboba’s briefing is likely to cover the inconclusive elections held on 18 March to succeed President Malam Bacai Sanhá, who died on 9 January. It appears that Togo, which leads on Guinea-Bissau in the Council, had indicated that it might circulate a draft press statement encouraging all parties to participate in the polls and calling for their free and fair conduct. However, at press time a draft had not been circulated.

Former Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Júnior, who contested the elections as head of the ruling Partido Africano para a Independência da Guiné e Cabo Verde, failed to win an outright victory and a run-off has been scheduled for 22 April. However, the opposition candidate, Kumba Yala, who came in second and should face Gomes Júnior in the run-off, has announced that he will be boycotting the election, claiming the ruling party rigged the March presidential polls. (Yala, who was overthrown as President in 2003 and is head of the Partido de Renovação Social, acquired 23 percent of the votes to Gomes Júnior’s 49 percent.)

The March elections were tainted by the assassination of the former head of military intelligence, Col. Samba Djalo, who was killed by uniformed men in a restaurant opposite his home in the capital, Bissau, shortly after voting closed. The former head of the country’s military, Gen. Jose Zamora Induta, then fled to the EU compound in the capital, reportedly fearing for his life.

The mandate of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS) expires on 28 February 2013.

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