- The UN Security Council has urged the government of Guinea-Bissau to double efforts "to strengthen its international and regional cooperation to sustain the fight against narcotics trade and organised crime."
The Council, whose message was contained in a statement released on Thursday, applauded the West African country's leadership for its efforts to prosecute drug traffickers. However, the statement read by the rotating President of the UN body, Ambassador Alejandro Wolf of the United States, expressed concern over "the acute threat posed by drug trafficking and organized crime to the peace consolidation process."
Earlier in the week, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon released a report, warning the Bissau government of the "dangers illicit drug trade" caused to a country's struggle to attain "political and economic progress."
The 15-member body was earlier briefed by Shola Omoregie, the Secretary-General's Representative for Guinea-Bissau, and UN Office on Drugs and Crime Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa, on the latest developments in Guinea-Bissau.
In recent months, Guinea-Bissau has become a fertile ground for drug traffickers. A number of investigative journalists had fled for their life after linking top officials of the government and security to cocaine trade, thus opening floodgates of regional and international condemnations. This has forced the government to implement an anti-narcotics operation plan, something that the Security Council members endorsed, and called on the international community to support the program.
Similarly, the Council praised Cape Verde Island's readiness to organise a regional conference on drug trafficking and organised crime in the archipelago.
The Council welcomed Guinea-Bissau's preparedness to hold legislative elections on 16 November, commended the international partners for their pledges in support of the polls and urged the international community to continue to provide technical, material and financial resources in order to fill the current gaps and ensure effective and timely elections.
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