APA – Dakar (Senegal) US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has blamed greed and corruption for the increase in drug trafficking in Guinea Bissau and warned that the country could become fully dependent on the cocaine trade with Latin American countries.
Mrs Clinton, who was in Senegal at the start of her whistle-stop tour of seven African countries on Tuesday, told an audience at the Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar on Wednesday that Guinea Bissau’s involvement on the trafficking of cocaine was set to grow unless neighbouring countries and the international community act in concert to prevent this.
Clinton’s warning comes days after the UN Security Council drew attention to what it called a steep rise in drug trafficking in Guinea- since the military coup in April.
The UNSC said on Tuesday after meeting in New York that the West African country was strengthening its notoriety as a major hub for drug smuggling to Europe especially after the takeover amidst preparation for second round of elections three months ago.
The meeting ended with a statement not only condemning the interference of the Guinea Bissau military in politics but raising concern over reports suggesting an increase in drug trafficking since the April 12 coup.
The UN said it was on the verge of convening an international summit to find a lasting solution to the political and social crisis in Guinea Bissau.
Meanwhile, Guinea Bissau Justice minister Mamadou Saido Balde refuted any interference of the military in the country’s political life and their involvement in drug trafficking, denouncing the UN document, questioning the reliability of UN sources.
In recent years the country has been used a launching pad for drug-related gang activities linking Latin America and Europe with the alleged encouragement of top army officers some of whom are under sanctions by the UN following the April coup.
The United States had accused several high ranking military officers in the Guinea Bissau army of involvement in drug trafficking, an allegation they did not deny in 2010. The US had named former navy chief Jose Americo Bubo Na Tchuto as one of the lynchpins of the Bissau drug cartel.
Guinea-Bissau has been rocked by coups and other forms of political instability since independence from Portugal in 1974.
With the intervention of the regional grouping Ecowas, the new military regime has committed itself to a transition process which would culminate in elections and a return to democratic rule.
Presidential elections were supposed to be held to replace Malam Becai Sahna who died in February.