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On Guinea-Bissau, Portuguese Link to Counter Coup Alleged, Mutaboba in Q

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 22 -- Post coup Guinea Bissau has been drifting in the UN Security Council unacted on, given disagreements between the Portuguese speaking countries and the West Africa grouping ECOWAS.

 The weak responses on the ground by the UN and its envoy Joseph Mutaboba, who earlier as Inner City Press pursued housed a noted drug king pin in the UN compound, had earlier this month given rise to questions in the Council, including about Mutaboba continuing in the position.

   Then there was an attempted counter-coup, which the previous coup leaders blame on Portugal and perhaps CPLP. Inner City Press went to the UN noon briefing on October 22 to ask for the UN Secretariat's comment, including on Mutaboba.

 But UN Under Secretary General Herve Ladsous refuses to answer any Inner City Press question, and Inner City Press had to re-ask them to UN spokesman Martin Nesirky.

  These peacekeeping questions were the only one possible; as Nesirky closed the briefing Inner City Press asked, no statement on Guinea-Bissau?

Later, as promised, the following was issued:

Subject: Note to correspondents - in response to questions on Guinea-Bissau
From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at]
Date: Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Note to Correspondents, in response to questions on the attack on a military base in Guinea-Bissau on 21 October

The United Nations condemns this attack, and we regret the loss of lives as a result of the incident. We are following the situation closely.

The Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS), Joseph Mutaboba, has been in contact with authorities and the international community in Guinea-Bissau and has been keeping UN headquarters closely informed of developments.

We are appealing for calm and calling on all in Guinea Bissau to resolve differences by peaceful means, including through inclusive dialogue, consistent with Security Council Resolution 2048 of 18 May 2012.

The United Nations will continue to work with Bissau-Guineans and international partners, especially the African Union, the Economic Community of Western African States (ECOWAS), the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP) and the European Union, to implement Security Council Resolution 2048, in which the Council demanded immediate steps to restore and respect constitutional order, including a democratic electoral process.

  This statement seems to still put full faith and credit in Mutaboba. But might that change? Watch this site.

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