Mon, 16 Dec 2019

United Nations acts on Bolivian crisis

By Jay Jackson, Taipei News.Net
17 Nov 2019, 03:46 GMT+10

UN Secretary-General Antnio Guterres is sending a personal envoy to Bolivia in the wake of the departure of former president, Evo Morales.

"The Secretary-General remains deeply concerned about the developments in Bolivia," his Spokesperson Stphane Dujarric told reporters in New York on Thursday. "He reiterates his appeal to all Bolivians to refrain from violence and exercise utmost restraint."

Bolivia has been plagued by weeks of protests which have become increasingly violent as people have been taking issue with the outcome of the presidential election.

Opposition Senator, Jeanine Aez, assumed the presidency on an interim basis on Tuesday, and has promised to hold elections soon. The deputy Senate leader was third in line to become interim leader, but supporters of Mr. Morales took to the streets amidst violent clashes with security forces, to protest her appointment.

Mr. Guterres has appointed Jean Arnault to engage as his Personal Envoy "with all Bolivian actors," said Mr, Dujarric, "and offer United Nations support in efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the crisis, including through transparent, inclusive and credible elections."

The veteran envoy, who has now arrived in Bolivia, is a former Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Colombia. He has also served as Special Representative forGeorgia, Afghanistan, Burundi and Guatemala.

Bolivia's political crisis began last month, as Mr. Morales, the nation's first indigenous president, declared victory after elections for a disputed fourth term, amidst allegations of electoral fraud and vote rigging. On Sunday independent observers from the Organization of American States called for the result to be annulled, declaring there had been "clear manipulation" of the vote.

After agreeing to hold fresh elections, Morales stepped down under military and police pressure on Sunday accepting an offer of asylum from Mexico, declaring that he was the victim of a coup.

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