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Gambia condemns Guinea Bissau coup

Apr 16, 2012, 2:44 PM

The government of the Gambia has issued a news release condemning in the strongest terms the 12th April military coup in Guinea Bissau.

The release informs ECOWAS member states, the African Union, the larger International Community and the people of Guinea Bissau that the Gambia is utterly dismayed by the brutal and forceful seizure of power by elements of the Guinea Bissau military from the democratically instituted and the legitimate government of Guinea Bissau.

The release described the coup as a despicable act which it says is becoming a habit in the sister country. It says the continuous military coups in Guinea Bissau with deadly consequences and assassinations perpetrated against civilians, members of the government and soldiers loyal to the government with impunity cannot be tolerated any more.

The Gambia government therefore calls for the immediate and unconditional release of the Interim President, the Prime Minister, and other government officials detained by the military and the immediate restoration of the Interim government.

The release urges the Armed Forces High Command to return to their barracks and ensure the security of civilians as well as the civilian authorities of Guinea Bissau adding that the entire High Command of the Armed Forces will be held responsible for any unruly act against those detained.

The Government of the Gambia also calls on ECOWAS and the African Union to invite the International Criminal Court to send an investigation team to Guinea Bissau to gather facts on crimes against humanity and prosecute all those found wanting in order to put an end to this vicious cycle of assassination and murder.

The Government of the Gambia calls on Ecowas and the AU and the wider International Community to ensure that the Armed Forces High Command, the political actors and the people of Guinea Bissau maintain stability and respect the constitutional order.

The statement also expressed the need to observe the democratic process by making sure that the scheduled second round of Presidential Elections in Guinea Bissau takes place without intimidation by members of the Armed Forces.

The dispatch urges all parties and political actors in Bissau to promote national reconciliation and resolve their dispute through political means.

Meanwhile the Gambia government reiterates its full commitment to the ideals and principles of ECOWAS and the AU as well as its support to the democratic government and people of Guinea Bissau.

The release reminds the Armed Forces of Guinea Bissau that the prosperity, development and rapid socio-economic well-being held back by what it described as “irrational and despicable coups, assassinations by members of the Armed Forces to the detriment of the Bissau Guineans.

The statement ended by pointing out that the culture of violence by the Armed Forces of Guinea Bissau should be stopped in its tracks by ECOWAS, the African Union and the wider International Community for the sake of the women and children of that country.