Security Council condemns recent spate of political killings in Guinea-Bissau
9 June 2009 - The Security Council today spoke out against the recent killings of top political figures in Guinea-Bissau, serving as a "tragic setback" to the West African nation which has been rocked by a series of civil conflicts, coups d'état and uprisings in recent decades.
Baciro Dabo, a candidate in the 28 June presidential elections, and Helder Proenca, a Member of Parliament and former Minister of Defense, were assassinated on 5 June.
"The members of the Security Council called on the Government of Guinea-Bissau to bring to justice those responsible for these violent acts," according to a press statement read out by Ambassador Baki Ilkin of Turkey, which holds the body's rotating presidency this month.
Last week, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that he was "dismayed" by the news of the killings, emphasizing that "they should not be allowed to deter the forthcoming presidential elections."
In today's statement, the Council also underscored the importance of national reconciliation and fighting impunity in the country.
Its members also voiced their concern "over the resurgence of political violence, which constitutes a tragic setback to efforts to restore peace and stability, as well as the rule of law and democratic process in the country."
President Joao Bernardo Vieira and Chief of Staff Tagme Na Waie were killed on 1 and 2 March, respectively, and their murders were condemned by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the Security Council, the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Tuesday's statement called on the Government, political leaders, the military and people of Guinea-Bissau to "exercise restraint, maintain stability and constitutional order, and respect the rule of law and the democratic process," as well as urging the international community to continue its support for the country.
It also appealed to regional and sub-regional organizations to help with the investigations into the pattern of killings. (Source: UN News Centre)