Page last updated at 09:37 GMT, Friday, 3 October 2008 10:37 UK

G Bissau drugs sanctions threat

Men near drums full of cocaine on ship
Drugs seized in West Africa - a fraction of the illegal trade

UN chief Ban Ki-moon has called for the Security Council to consider imposing sanctions against those involved in Guinea-Bissau's drugs trade.

He warned that drug trafficking through Guinea-Bissau could wreak havoc in the West African country and region.

Mr Ban said he was concerned that drugs were being smuggled over the country's porous borders.

He said Guinea-Bissau was no longer just a transit hub in the smuggling between Latin America and Europe.

The BBC's UN correspondent Laura Trevelyan says Guinea-Bissau has been called Africa's first narco state, meaning a failed state run for the benefit of drugs gangs.

Guinea-Bissau appears to be fast becoming a major market place
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

The tiny West African country has become a major hub for drugs gangs moving cocaine from Latin America to Europe.

In a report, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says the increase in drug trafficking could wreak havoc throughout the country and along its borders.

The volume of drug trafficking in this country of one and a half million people is much greater than previously thought, he says.

Mr Ban calls on the UN Security Council to consider identifying those responsible for the drugs trade in Guinea-Bissau and then imposing sanctions against them.

"I am especially concerned about reports that Guinea-Bissau is no longer merely a transit hub, but appears to be fast becoming a major market place in the drug trade," he said.

Although there have been allegations of state officials taking kickbacks in return for allowing the drugs through the country, Mr Ban praised the authorities in Guinea-Bissau for telling the UN they were ready to support robust action against those involved in the trade.

Africa - new front in drugs war
09 Jul 07 |  Africa
Fear after Bissau death threats
01 Aug 08 |  Africa

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific