Insecurity and impunity remain serious problems in GuineaBissau warns UN official

“Notwithstanding the positive efforts to ensure inclusiveness in the transition process, impunity remains a major problem,” Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Tayé-Brook Zerihoun told the Security Council. “There is a general atmosphere of fear within the population arising from the recent cases of beatings, torture and intimidation that continue to restrict freedom of assembly and information.”Guinea-Bissau has a tumultuous history of coups, misrule and political instability since it gained independence from Portugal in 1974. Last year, rogue soldiers seized power in a military take-over on 12 April – just days ahead of the country’s presidential run-off election – prompting calls from the international community for the return to civilian rule and the restoration of constitutional order. Recent incidents include an attack on a military base in October, which reportedly resulted in numerous deaths.In his presentation to the Council of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s latest report on the developments in the country, Mr. Zerihoun noted that none of the individuals involved in the October attack have been brought to justice, although investigations have reportedly been concluded and submitted to the military court.Staff from the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS) have visited prisons and detention centres and have confirmed inadequate detention conditions and lack of access of detainees to medical care, food and potable water. While the Mission has notified the Ministry of Justice on this matter, Mr. Zerihoun stressed that there must be a wider change in Government policies to ensure a peaceful and inclusive transition.“The continued lack of civilian control and oversight over the defence and security forces and the continuing attempts by some politicians to manipulate the military for sectarian benefit remain matters of grave concern,” he said. “They hamper the effective functioning of State institutions and highlight the urgent need to radically change the way in which politics is conducted in the country, as well as the imperative of fundamental reform of the defence, security and justice sectors.”Mr. Zerihoun added that while restoration of constitutional order through elections remains a key priority, the international community must also support efforts aimed at combating impunity during the transition period and in the medium to longer term if stability is to be sustainable.“Only then can Guinea-Bissau have an opportunity to reverse decades of instability, unconstitutional change of Government, gross human rights abuses and impunity; and hopefully usher in a new era where there will be respect for the rule of law and for human and political rights, as well as opportunities for social and economic development,” he said, while also reaffirming the UN’s commitment to assist Guinea-Bissau in its long-term reconciliation process. read more

Traffic Chief cautions motorists about rising road deaths

In light of the recent spate of deaths on the roadways, the traffic department of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) has made a special plea to road users particularly motorcyclists to be keen in their operation on the road.The traffic department said it could not sit idly by while persons continue to lose their lives senselessly on the roadways.Over the past few days, three motorcyclists lost their lives among a total of five road deaths. Traffic Chief Deon Moore said there is really no reason for persons to be losing their lives in this fashion. He said it is recognised that most of these accidents occur at midnight or any time after that hour. He said in three of the most recent deaths, the one at Goed fortune occurred at 3am while the one at Better Hope occurred  after 11pm.On Sunday, 27-year-old biker Cleon Perreira of Buxton, East Coast Demerara (ECD), died on the spot after he collided with a car just after 23:00h on the Better Hope Public Road. Early Saturday morning, another motorcyclist was killed after he was struck by a minibus in the vicinity of the Goed Fortuin Public Road, West Bank Demerara (WBD).42-year-old Joseph James of Walter Terrace, West La Penitence, Georgetown, was returning home from a party when the accident occurred.On Monday, police were called in to investigate the death  of 50-year-old Feroze Khan of Yarrowkabara, Soesdyke/Linden Highway, who succumbed to injuries sustained in an accident on the Land of Canaan Public Road, EBD that morning. Khan was pulled out of his vehicle after it had collided with another and was taken to the Diamond Diagnostic Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.“These timings are when the road is not too congested, not so busy. The weather condition was not foggy or rain was not falling so the condition was not bad”. He said motorists need to drive at a speed that could bring their vehicles to a stop if a situation should present itself.“At nights you should drive your vehicle at such a speed in accordance to the distance that you can see. If your vision is blurred, pull in a corner, if a light has blind you, pull in a corner”, the official pleaded. He said “it is better for you to wait a few seconds than to try to force to where you want to get and never meet there”.Traffic Chief of the Guyana Police Force, Dion MooreMoore said so far for the year, some 15 motorcyclists lost their lives. At the end of last year there were 23 motorcyclists who lost their lives. He said the police had committed at the beginning of this year to see a radical reduction in the amount of lives lost on the road by asking them to wear their safety helmets.“Many times you see them having the helmets, but having it strapped on the rear seat of the motorcycles. It is a dangerous practice. Motorcycle helmets afford you protection to your body in the event of any eventuality, for you to reduce the amount of injuries you would sustain”, the Traffic Chief said.Revealing the traffic statistics. Moore said there has been a decrease in all categories of accidents, with 62 fatal accidents as against 83 this time last year, a 23 per cent decrease. In terms of persons dying as a result of the road accidents, this year saw some 68 as against 88 this time last year, a decrease of 23 percent. Six children lost their lives last year. So far for this year there has been only one. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedCampaign launched to reduce rising number of road fatalities in GuyanaNovember 16, 2018In “latest news”34 road deaths for 2016 so far…speeding, drunk driving main causesApril 12, 2016In “latest news”Bright lights, bad roads blamed for accidents where passengers were injuredNovember 1, 2017In “Crime” read more