Secretary-General condemns 23 November attack on residence of Guinea-Bissau's President, which could devastate country's fragile stability

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The following statement was issued yesterday, 23 November, by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

The Secretary-General strongly condemns the armed attack early in the morning of 23 November on President Bernardo João Vieira's official residence in Bissau. The Secretary-General has noted with great concern reports of the alleged involvement of elements of the Armed Forces of Guinea-Bissau in the attack, and calls upon them to refrain from any measures that could further destabilize the country.

This violent action, which comes so soon after the people of Guinea-Bissau, in legislative elections on 16 November, had massively manifested their desire for peaceful democratic governance, could have a devastating impact on the county's fragile stability. The Secretary-General calls on the authorities to re-establish law and order and to conduct a thorough investigation with a view to ensuring respect for the rule of law and human rights.

The Secretary-General believes that this destructive pattern of instability and disrespect for the democratic institutions of this country must come to an end. The Secretary-General's Representative in Guinea-Bissau, Shola Omoregie, is working closely with national authorities, regional leaders and other partners to help stabilize the country.

For information media - not an official record