Envoy warns of potential humanitarian crisis in Guinea-Bissau

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Joseph Mutaboba, Special Representative for Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau could be facing a humanitarian crisis, the UN envoy for the country told the Security Council on Thursday.

Joseph Mutaboba reported that although life appears to be returning to normal following the 12 April military coup, the situation is still tense and volatile.

He reported that people have been leaving the capital city, Bissau, for the countryside.

"While shops on the whole remain open, the banks have been closed since the coup and may reopen soon. It is unclear how the military authorities hope to pay civil servants' salaries in a few days time although the military command has announced that banks will reopen on a Monday. A continued crisis will certainly impact the cashew trading season which is crucial to the economy and livelihood of the population. A humanitarian crisis is a distinct possibility."

The Security Council and the UN Secretary-General have condemned the coup, as have the African Union, the European Union, and regional body ECOWAS.

Mutaboba said The World Bank and the African Development Bank have also suspended their development programmes in the country.

Guinea-Bissau's interim president and prime minister were arrested during the coup and have been detained since then.

Filed under Today's News.
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