Daily Trust (Abuja)

30 December 2011

West Africa: ECOWAS Warns Against Destabilization of Guinea Bissau

The EOWAS Commission has condemned an attempt by a section of the Armed Forces of Guinea Bissau to destabilize the political situation in the country in the early hours of Monday, December 26.

President of the Commission, James Victor Gbeho, said in a statement that ECOWAS learnt about the development with dismay and utter disappointment.

He said the latest episode is a chain of acts of gross indiscipline and disregard for democratic principles by the military.

"It flies in the face of the strenuous efforts being made by ECOWAS, with the support of the international community, to help the government and people of Guinea Bissau to shore up the fragile democratic transition and reform the Defense and Security System in order to realize their country's enormous potential for progress," Gbeho said.

He added that "at a time when the ECOWAS region is making strides in the efforts to consolidate democracy, socio-economic development and ride the unfolding global economic turmoil, the Commission wishes once more to articulate ECOWAS' policy of 'zero tolerance' for any acts of impunity and subversion of constitutional order."

Gbeho, while condemning the attempted putsch and expressing its relief that the anti-democratic enterprise has been thwarted and normalcy restored in the country, reassured the citizens of Guinea Bissau that it will continue to closely monitor events in the country with a view to responding appropriately and firmly to any further attempts from any quarters to disturb the peace and compromise the rule of law.

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