22 May 2013

Guinea: UN Official Initiates Consultations Between Government, Opposition Leaders

Photo: Aminata.com
Quelling an opposition protest.

A United Nations envoy today convened a consultative meeting in the Guinean capital, Conakry, between the Prime Minister and opposition leaders, pressing ahead with UN efforts to assist the parties in resolving differences over preparations for stalled legislative elections and other contentious issues through peaceful means.

Said Djinnit, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa, initiated the meeting in his capacity as International Facilitator on Guinea, a UN spokesperson said.

The envoy congratulated the two parties for this "initial promising step" towards creating the conditions for the holding of free, transparent and peaceful legislative elections in Guinea.

In March, protests in the West African nation related to the polls led to several deaths and hundreds of injuries. At that time, both Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the UN human rights office appealed for calm amid the violence and urged political actors in Guinea to pursue dialogue to create conditions for peaceful elections.

"Mr. Djinnit continues to urge the Guinean stakeholders to address their differences over the electoral process through peaceful means and to act in accordance with the 'anti-violence declaration' signed by the Government and the political parties on 24 April," said the spokesperson.

Further, the Special Representative hopes that the situation "will continue to remain calm in line with the spirit that prevailed during today's consultative meeting."

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