E Timor's Jose Ramos-Horta gets UN Guinea-Bissau role

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Jose Ramos-Horta, file pic from December 2010Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Mr Ramos Horta shared the Nobel Peace prize in 1996 for working towards peace in East Timor

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed the former president of East Timor, Nobel Peace prize winner Jose Ramos-Horta, as his special representative to Guinea-Bissau.

Mr Ramos-Horta will take up the post on 31 January, a UN statement said.

He will take over from Rwandan diplomat Joseph Mutaboba.

The military seized power of the West African nation in a coup in April, and instability has turned the country into a prime drug smuggling spot.

The UN Security Council has demanded that Guinea-Bissau's rulers restore constitutional rule.

Gangs use the country to smuggle cocaine from Latin America to Europe, allegedly in collusion with top army officers.

Guinea-Bissau has a long history of coups since independence from Portugal in 1974, and no elected leader has finished their time in office since.

Mr Ramos-Horta, 63, was president of East Timor from 2007 until he lost a re-election bid in 2012. He shared the Nobel prize in 1996 for working towards a peaceful solution to the conflict in East Timor when it was under Indonesian rule.

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