Good morning. The Security Council is being briefed on the current situation, both the security and political situation, in Guinea-Bissau. The United States is committed to achieving a lasting stability and peace in Guinea-Bissau, and we are deeply concerned about the current political and security situation both in that country and the implications for the region.
The UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau is an important tool to help address these challenges, but its efforts alone are not enough to meet the challenges.
Narcotrafficking and the effects of drug money and organized crime are a clear and present threat to the stability and security in Guinea-Bissau and in the region. This is a message that has been repeatedly presented to the Security Council by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and underscored again today by Special Representative Mutaboba.
Local, regional and international counternarcotics efforts are essential, and that means we have to hold accountable those who attempt to profit from narcotrafficking in countries where the drugs are produced, transported, and consumed.
The stakes for Guinea-Bissau and the region are very high. The United States has imposed sanctions, under the authority of the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act, against two individuals involved in narcotics trafficking in Guinea-Bissau. These individuals are prohibited from all financial transactions with U.S. citizens and businesses. And wherever U.S. jurisdiction applies, we will freeze their assets.
The United States will continue to target through sanctions other individuals who are facilitating the narcotics trade through Guinea-Bissau and West Africa. The U.S. efforts alone, however, are not enough, and we call on all nations to join this effort and to launch similar sanctions against narcotraffickers.
We applaud the increased collaboration between the UN Office of Drugs and Crime and the Economic Community of West African States; this is going to help strengthen a coordinated, regional response to the issue.
Narcotrafficking is a very serious issue that requires responsible action from all nations.
And with that I’m happy to take a question or two.
Reporter: Thanks Ambassador Anderson. I just wanted to ask, one of the two people named as kingpins, Bubo Na Tchuto, was actually put up by the United Nations, was held in the UN compound, was protected in December for several months. I’m just wondering, what does the U.S. think, does the U.S. think that was a bad decision for the UN to essentially provide protection and supper to a man that is now known as a drug kingpin?
Ambassador Anderson: We have designated him as a drug kingpin, we are taking action to address this issue and we are concerned about the fact that he was in the UN compound.
Reporter: Was there any communication at some point, because he was known for his involvement?
Ambassador Anderson: We have taken action now, and we are also looking to designate additional individuals under this. The issue of narco-trafficking is a direct threat to Guinea-Bissau and to stability in the region, and I’m here today to express that concern and to talk about the steps that we are going to be taking to address it.
Reporter: Ambassador, can you tell us more about how might be also designated as a kingpin, are they in the military or not, what can you tell us about that?
Ambassador Anderson: I can’t say anything further about it at this point, thank you.
Reporter: Ambassador, I [inaudible] am working for Radio Deutschland [inaudible], my question is did you receive any kind of input or more information regarding the extraordinary session of the Security Council last week at the request of the Serbian government, regarding who is to be blamed for that incident? Do you have any other information [inaudible] that you can share with us?
Ambassador Anderson: I don’t have any additional information at this point, but I’d be happy to follow up with you afterwards. Thank you. Thank you very much
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