News24

Guinea-Bissau asks for help

2012-09-25 12:31

Bissau - Guinea-Bissau, a hub of international drug trafficking, is powerless to fight the narcotics trade alone, its interim president said on Monday, calling for help from the international community.

"Guinea-Bissau cannot face drug trafficking by itself," said Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo, the country's leader under a transition process negotiated after an April 12 coup.

"I call once more on the international community to come to the rescue, to stop this evil," said Nhamadjo, in an address to mark the 38th anniversary of the country's independence from Portugal.

Guinea-Bissau has long been considered a key platform for the trafficking of cocaine and other narcotics from South America to Europe. Some reports have implicated top military officers in the trade.

Since independence in 1974, the coup-prone country's army and state have remained in constant conflict. No president has ever completed a full term in office.

Nhamadjo, who attended a military parade to mark independence day, said his government was "not under the army's orders, either in form or substance".

Restoring constitutional rule

He also called on the international community to help organise the elections meant to restore constitutional rule after the latest coup, which erupted between the first and second rounds of a presidential election.

"I ask the international community to support Guinea-Bissau, which is going through a transition period that is going to end in less than a year in general elections for which we will need our partners' support," he said.

The European Union, Guinea-Bissau's main development donor, suspended aid to the country after the coup, and some countries do not recognise the transitional authorities put in place under a deal brokered by mediators from the Economic Community of West African States.