Press Releases

    SG/SM/8326
    AFR/447
    6 August 2002

    SECRETARY-GENERAL SENDS SPECIAL ENVOY
    TO GAMBIA, GUINEA-BISSAU BACK TO REGION

    NEW YORK, 5 August (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokes- man for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

    Following their meeting at United Nations Headquarters on 30 July, the Secretary-General has asked his Special Envoy for Gambia and Guinea-Bissau, Ambassador James Victor Gbeho, to return to the region to help consolidate the recent resumption of peaceful cooperation between the two countries following a period of mounting tensions in their relations.

    The Special Envoy will explore with Presidents [Al Hadji Yahya] Jammeh and Koumba Yala ways in which their two Governments could implement speedily and fully the commitments they agreed to in Kanilai (Gambia) on 4 July following a bilateral ministerial meeting facilitated by the Secretary-General's Special Envoy. Mr. Gbeho will seek to build on the momentum also created by the reconciliation meeting held by the two heads of State, under the auspices of the Secretary-General, in the margins of the recent Organization of African Unity (OAU) summit in Durban.

    The Secretary-General has further directed his Special Envoy to travel to Addis Ababa and Abuja to brief the Interim Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union, Mr. Amara Essy, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Executive Secretary, Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, on the United Nations efforts to promote the consolidation of peaceful relations between Gambia and Guinea-Bissau. The Special Envoy will then travel to Dakar to brief the ECOWAS Chairman, President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal.

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