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On Guinea Bissau, Togo Complains of Text and Trafficking, Coup is Rewarded?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 18 -- In the run up to the Guinea Bissau resolution's adoption 15-0 in the UN Security Council on Friday afternoon, there was much talk about authorizing an international peacekeeping force to replace the Angolan MISSANG force and about "political splits."

  But in the Security Council chamber after the vote, only three countries spoke: Portugal, Togo and Morocco.

  Togo after voting yes complained that the Operative Paragraph 2 in the final text was different than the one that had been circulated that morning. (Afterward, a number of delegations told Inner City Press this mystified them, since the final negotiations in the morning focused exclusively on Operative Paragraph 1).

  Inner City Press asked Portuguese Permanent Representative Cabral about this, and Togo's second critique, of the inclusion of the word "illicit" before "drug trafficking" (this also mystified other members.)

  Cabral said the Togolese objections were "technical" but that he respected them. He said the main thing is for the international community to work together.

  On that, Inner City Press asked Cabral is Portugal agrees with the ECOWAS twelve month plan. He replied that the previous legitimate government should be restored. But ECOWAS' Nigerian representative has already said, the former president and prime minister cannot return. So isn't the coup being rewarded?

  Before the vote, a non-Western Council member grumbled about "sanctions on a poor country," and Inner City Press tweeted this snark along, as part of the story.

  It was quickly pointed out from the Western side that it is "only a travel ban on five individuals." That's for now. The Security Council is traveling to West Africa next week, not to Bissau but will meet ECOWAS in Cote d'Ivoire. Watch this site.

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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