Guinea Bissau

Guinea Bissau's Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior said on Thursday that his government would pursue dialogue with the military and “display a conciliatory overture” to restore peace and stability in the country in the wake of the assassinations of the armed forces chief of staff General Batista Tagm Na Wai and President Bernardo Joao Vieira.

This latest policy briefing from the International Crisis Group, argues that the West African country’s new prime minister, Carlos Gomes Junior, has an opportunity to carry out the administrative and political measures needed to strengthen the state, stabilise the economy and fight drug trafficking. But he will need to base his approach on political dialogue with President Nino Vieira, the army and rivals within his own party.

The United Nations Security Council has underscored the need for continued international support for Guinea-Bissau, while voicing their concern over security in the West African country which faced an unsuccessful coup attempt last month by elements of the military. Renegade military elements launched an armed attack on the residence of President João Bernardo Vieira in the capital, Bissau, on 23 November.

The Security Council has strongly condemned the attempted coup d’état in Guinea-Bissau over the weekend and urged all political groups in the fragile and impoverished West African country to resolve their disputes peacefully. Dissident elements of the military launched an armed attack on the residence of President João Bernardo Vieira in the capital, Bissau, early on Sunday morning, using machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. But they were unsuccessful and Mr. Vieira survived the attack.

The Security Council has welcomed last weekend’s legislative elections in Guinea-Bissau and called on the political parties in the troubled West African country to respect the results. Last Sunday’s polls were held on schedule “in an orderly and peaceful manner,” and both the Government and the people deserve commendation for their efforts, the Council said in a press statement read out by Ambassador Jorge Urbina of Costa Rica, which holds the presidency of the 15-member panel this month.