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Amid Guinea Bissau Threats, Togo Dropped Footnote, Until Portugal Off UNSC?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 7 -- When in a country already on the agenda of the UN Security Council journalists are openly threatened with death after a failed counter-coup to what's been called a cocaine coup, one might expect it to be in the next month's Security Council Program of Work.

  But for Guinea Bissau, that has not been the case.

  On October 30, according to Reporters without Borders, the Guinea Bissau army chief of staff told the press, "Any journalist who asks questions about former President Nino Vieira's assassination will not leave this barracks alive. I will kill him."

  On November 2, Inner City Press asked Security Council president Hardeep Singh Puri why Guinea Bissau was not in the Council's just-released program of work for November. He said the footnote had been in until last night, when the requester agreed it could come out.

  Inner City Press has since learned that "the requester" was Togo, on behalf of the Western African grouping ECOWAS.

  Portugal argued that having Guinea Bissau listed on the agenda and having a session might not be helpful, given attempts between the Lusophone grouping CPLP and ECOWAS to come to a meeting of the minds.

  Others wonder if Guinea Bissau is on ice until Portugal is off the Security Council on December 31, similar to the way decisions on the Somalia mission AMISOM were on Wednesday put off for four months -- until South Africa, which was fighting for a maritime component for the mission, is off the Council.

  Even though Guinea Bissau reversed its position on a European journalist, it reportedly on Tuesday arrested a local radio reporter. And here is UN envoy Mutaboba on all this? Watch this site.

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