March 3, 2009 – Condemning Guinea-Bissau assassinations, UN Council calls for calm
UN News Centre - Condemning "in the strongest terms" the assassination of the president of Guinea-Bissau and his chief of staff, the United Nations Security Council today called on the people, political leaders, and the armed forces of the country to remain calm, exercise restraint and maintain stability.
Through a statement read out by Ibrahim Dabbashi of Libya, which holds the rotating presidency of the Council for the month of March, it also urged all parties in the country to resolve any disputes within the framework of democratic institutions and opposed "any attempt to change the government through unconstitutional means."
The killings of President Joao Bernardo Vieira and Chief of Staff Tagme Na Waie, which took place 1 and 2 March, respectively were condemned yesterday by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
In its statement today, the 15-member body called on all concerned to "assist in saving constitutional order in Guinea-Bissau and to continue to support peace building efforts in the country."
Guinea-Bissau is one of a handful of States on the agenda of the UN Peacebuilding Commission, which aims to help poor countries avoid sliding back into war or chaos.
The West African country has struggled to combat 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.