Media Statement

17 April 2012

South Africa deplores coup d’état in Guinea-Bissau

South Africa deplores the recent developments in Guinea-Bissau, particularly the military intervention that took place on 12 April 2012, which has led to the imprisonment of several Bissauan politicians and left the country in a state of uncertainty.

In particular, South Africa is concerned that the Bissauan military chose this course of action despite the joint AU-ECOWAS-UN Mission to Bissau that warned the military against any intervention in the political future of Guinea-Bissau.

South Africa has indicated that the African Union (AU) takes a principled position against unconstitutional changes of Government, and that South Africa will support all ECOWAS, AU and UN mandated efforts to reverse the coup d’état. The fact that the Bissauan military is seeking to entrench the military dominance of the country through the imposition of a Transitional Government is of particular concern to South Africa.

South Africa urges the Bissauan military to allow the civilian population to continue with the electoral process of electing a new President in accordance with the ruling of the Bissauan Supreme Court. South Africa also reminds the military authorities that the safety and security of the imprisoned civilian politicians remains their responsibility and that they will be held accountable for any human rights violations.

South Africa supports the ongoing ECOWAS and AU mediation efforts in Guinea-Bissau to resolve the situation.

For further information please contact Mr. Clayson Monyela spokesperson for DIRCO on 082 884 5974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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