Canada Condemns Assassination of President of Guinea-Bissau

(No. 56 - March 2, 2009) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today condemned the assassination of the President of Guinea-Bissau, João Bernardo Vieira, which followed that of the chief of staff of the country's armed forces, General Batista Tagmé Na Waié, on Sunday.

"I am shocked by the acts of violence that have cost the lives of President Vieira and General Tagmé Na Waié. Canada condemns in the strongest possible terms the killing of a democratically-elected leader, and deeply regrets the deaths of both men. It is essential that calm be maintained, that the constitutional order and the rule of law be respected, and that the perpetrators of these acts of violence be brought to justice.

"Canada expresses its sympathy to the families of both victims and to the people of Guinea-Bissau. These events are particularly disturbing in light of the successful parliamentary elections this past November, which had demonstrated the country's strong commitment to democracy and had given hope for sustainable peace."

Canada remains committed to the peacebuilding process in Guinea-Bissau despite this setback, and supports the continued work of the international community in bringing stability and prosperity to the country's people. As a member of the UN Peacebuilding Commission, Canada will continue to support the Commission's mandate to deliver tangible progress to the citizens of Guinea-Bissau.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Catherine Loubier
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874