FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ambassador Rice: Good afternoon. I want to share with you the statement that the Council members asked me to make to the press on their behalf.
The members of the Security Council heard a briefing by Assistant Secretary-General Menkerios on the situation in Guinea. The members of the Council express their utmost concern at the reports of killings that occurred in Conakry on September 28, when members of the army opened fire on civilians attending a rally. The members of the Security Council condemn the violence that caused reportedly more than 150 deaths and hundreds of wounded and other blatant violations of human rights including rapes in public streets in broad daylight, and violence that led to the arrest of opposition party leaders.
The members of the Council urge the authorities of Guinea, without delay, to put an end to the violence, bring the perpetrators to justice, release all political prisoners, opposition leaders, and individuals who are being denied due process under the law, and to allow a prompt return to the rule of law, democracy, and constitutional order through elections as scheduled in 2010.
The members of the Security Council express their support for the leadership of ECOWAS and the African Union, in particular that of President Blaise Conpaore of Burkina Faso and express their support for the public statements of ECOWAS and the African Union, and take note of the African Union Commission’s statement that it is “preparing a report on the developments in Guinea and possible measures to be taken, including sanctions, in the light of the decision of the PSC and the most recent events in Conakry” and the Council notes the risk these events pose to regional peace and security.
The members of the Security Council, in addition, welcome ECOWAS’ call for an international investigation into events in Guinea. And, finally, the members of the Council call upon the National Council for Democracy and Development, the CNDD, to reaffirm and respect its previous commitments that it will not field candidates in Guinea’s upcoming elections. The members of the Security Council express their determination to continue to follow this grave situation closely.
I will take questions in my capacity as President of the Security Council. I think you heard from the Secretary of State today speaking in my national capacity. Secretary Clinton was speaking for the United States today.
Reporter: Is there any discussion of any possible role for the UN office in West Africa that’s based in Senegal; this guy, Sayed Jeena, has supposedly been dealing with Guinea in the past— was there, beyond the statement, what can the UN system do about it?
Ambassador Rice: There was not discussion of Sayed Jeena or that office playing a particular role. Rather, there was consensus that the leadership being exerted by ECOWAS and the African Union was desirable and appropriate and garnered the full support of the Council. Obviously the Council will continue to follow this closely. We had a briefing from Assistant Secretary General Menkarios and I’m sure among the sources of the information he drew upon included the UN presence in West Africa and, indeed, as the Council stays focused on this issue in the days and weeks to come, we may here more from that particular office.
Question: Mr. Menkarios, and this is definitely in capacity as President of the Council. Has the Council heard anything about the possible replacement of Urdoff Aydada (inaudible) Sudan? Are there any names that have run by the Council? When does the Council get involved in that process?
Ambassador Rice: We have not had a discussion on any specific names to replace Mr. Adadaya or others and we don’t customarily have those discussions in the full Council.
Thank you all.
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