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Guinea-Bissau lawmakers reject amnesty for rebels

Legislators in the West African nation of Guinea-Bissau on Tuesday rejected a proposal extending amnesty to all military officials involved in the April 12 coup d'etat. With 40 votes in favor, the proposal fell short [AP report] of the 51 votes needed to secure its passage. The country has been operating under the control of a transitional government until the November elections.

Guinea-Bissau has experienced instability, resulting in several coups, since gaining independence from Portugal in 1974. In May the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay urged [JURIST report] that anyone who engaged in violent acts relating to the April 12 coup d'etat should be held accountable for their actions. Two weeks after the coup in April the Security Council called for constitutional order in Guinea-Bissau [JURIST report]. The same month UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon demanded immediate restoration [JURIST report] of constitutional order in the country. Pillay hoped to prevent another coup when she urged [JURIST report] the people of Guinea-Bissau in March to refrain from any violence during the upcoming election.

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