The New Times (Kigali)

11 December 2012

Rwanda: Mutaboba Leaves Guinea Bissau

THE Secretary-General's Special Representative for Guinea-Bissau, Joseph Mutaboba, is said to be in New York to brief the Security Council on his latest report on the situation in Guinea Bissau.

The development comes a few days to the end of his mandate in which he doubled as the head of the United Nations Integrated Peace building Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS),

Mutaboba, a 62-year-old Rwandan diplomat, was the representative of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in the troubled West African nation.

Recent reports indicated that Mutaboba may have been asked by the current leadership in Guinea-Bissau to leave the country, but Deputy Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, Eduardo del Buey, refuted the claims saying that Mutaboba is in New York for consultations and to brief the Security Council.

"He is completing his assignment at the end of the year. He will spend the next few weeks, as is customary, debriefing and finalising his end of assignment report at headquarters," Buey told the press in New York.

He added that, "The Secretary-General greatly appreciates Mutaboba's service over nearly four years, in a challenging environment, to support peace-building in Guinea-Bissau. He is in the process of designating a successor."

Mutaboba's mandate in Guinea-Bissau started in February 2009

Guinea-Bissau has suffered chronic instability since independence from Portugal in 1974 due to conflict between the army and state.

Following the April coup, a civilian administration was put in place and according to media reports, the new authorities have accused Mutaboba -- as well as others -- of working to reinstate former Prime Minister Carlos Gomes, who was leading the poll before the coup.

The interim government is planning to hold elections in 2013.

Mutaboba was prior to his assignment the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Internal Security and has also been previously an envoy to the Great Lakes.

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