June 5, 2009 - Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Guinea Bissau
New York - The Secretary-General is dismayed by the news of the assassinations of a candidate in the forthcoming presidential elections in Guinea Bissau, Mr. Baciro Dabo, and of a Member of Parliament and former Minister of Defense, Mr. Helder Proenca, along with others. The Secretary-General is concerned about the emerging pattern of killings of high profile personalities in Guinea Bissau. Coming so soon after the assassinations of President João Bernardo Vieira and General Tagme Na Waie, these criminal acts are a tragic setback for efforts to restore the rule of law and democratic processes in the country, but they should not be allowed to deter the forthcoming presidential elections.
These developments underscore once again the importance and urgency of conducting a thorough, credible and transparent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the assassinations in Guinea Bissau. The United Nations will be consulting with national authorities and the International Contact Group on Guinea Bissau, to explore what more needs to be done to end impunity and restore respect for the rule of law in the country.
Most urgently, the Secretary-General conveys his deepest condolences to the affected families and calls on the national authorities, including the country's military, to ensure that the human rights of all citizens are upheld and protected.