Nigeria's Buhari urges calm in coup-prone Guinea-Bissau

Calls come amid fresh crisis in Guinea-Bissau, which over past four decades has seen numerous coups, counter-coups

Nigeria's Buhari urges calm in coup-prone Guinea-Bissau

World Bulletin / News Desk

 Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has called on leaders in Guinea-Bissau – which has faced fresh political uncertainties since the president sacked the government earlier this month – to exercise restraint and respect the country’s constitution.

“President Buhari is deeply concerned by the unfolding political situation in Guinea-Bissau following the dismissal of Prime Minister Domingos Simoes Pereira and his cabinet by President Jose Mario Vaz,” Buhari spokesman Femi Adesina said in a Friday statement. 

On August 12, Vaz sacked Pereira and his government, which he accused of corruption, nepotism and obstruction of justice, triggering fears of a new political crisis in coup-prone Guinea-Bissau.  

Shortly afterward, the UN Security Council urged security forces in the small West African country not to intervene in the unfolding political dispute, urging the its leaders “to seek dialogue and consensus in resolving the crisis”.

On Friday, the Nigerian presidency echoed the UN’s appeal, calling on Guinea-Bissau’s leadership – “including the military” – to ensure “respect for constitutional order”.  

He further called on the country’s leaders to “avoid taking any further action that could threaten the fragile democratic institutions recently established in the country”.

The Buhari spokesman went on to note that the president had appointed former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo as a special envoy to mediate the crisis in Guinea-Bissau.

“Chief Obasanjo embarked on the first leg of his mission by consulting with the current chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, President Macky Sall of Senegal, in Dakar yesterday,” the statement read.

It added, however, that “while Chief Obasanjo was still consulting with President Sall, President Jose Mario Vaz of Guinea Bissau proceeded to appoint and swear-in a new prime minister in the person of Mr. Baciro Dja, a development that has worsened the political situation.”

On Thursday, Vaz swore Dja in as prime minister over protests on the part of his own ruling party, the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde.

Since winning independence from Portugal in 1974, Guinea-Bissau has seen numerous coups and counter-coups, which have prevented a single elected leader from serving out his full term in office.

Civilian rule was restored to the country in June of last year when Vaz assumed office through a peaceful election, although tension soon appeared between him and his recently-sacked prime minister.

The UN Security Council, meanwhile, has continued to call for concerted action – by the UN, the EU and the African Union, along with other regional groups – to help resolve Guinea-Bissau’s unfolding political crisis.

 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 22 Ağustos 2015, 15:11
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