UN peacebuilding official condemns assassination of GuineaBissaus president

4 March 2009The head of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) Country Configuration on Guinea-Bissau has joined the chorus of voices at the world body condemning the killing of the country’s president and its chief of staff of the armed forces earlier this week. The “tragic events” which took the lives of President Joao Bernardo Vieira and Tagme Na Waie on 1 and 2 March respectively are cause for “deep concern”, said Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, chair of the PBC’s country-specific configuration on Guinea-Bissau and Permanent Representative of Brazil to the UN.“I call upon the international community to continue assisting Guinea-Bissau in the implementation of the Strategic Framework and in the organization of the upcoming presidential elections,” said Ms. Viotti.“I remain confident that Guinea-Bissau will peacefully resolve the current political crisis within the constitutional framework,” she added.Guinea-Bissau is one of a handful of States on the agenda of the PBC, 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. This past November, renegade military elements attacked the residence of President Vieira but he survived the attack, which occurred just one week after legislative elections were staged in a peaceful and orderly manner.

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