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Guinea-Bissau president says this week’s violence was ‘tried coup’ | Politics Information

Clashes between two military factions broke out on Thursday evening after two authorities officers have been free of custody.

Gunfire and clashes that erupted within the capital of Guinea-Bissau this week have been an “tried coup”, President Umaro Sissoco Embalo has mentioned.

Clashes between the Nationwide Guard and particular forces of the presidential guard broke out in Bissau on Thursday evening and continued on Friday after Nationwide Guard troopers freed two senior authorities officers who have been detained on a corruption investigation.

The unrest within the tiny West African nation left a minimum of two folks lifeless.

Embalo, who was in Dubai attending the COP28 local weather convention, arrived in Bissau on Saturday and mentioned an “tried coup d’etat” had prevented him from returning.

“I have to let you know this act could have critical penalties,” he added.

Calm had returned by midday on Friday to the nation with a historical past of instability, following the announcement that the military had captured Colonel Victor Tchongo, the commander of the Nationwide Guard.

On Saturday, the safety presence in Bissau was diminished however troopers have been nonetheless seen round sure strategic buildings such because the presidential palace, the judicial police headquarters and a few ministries.

Some Nationwide Guard officers and troopers fled into the inside of the nation, the military mentioned in an announcement on Saturday, with out specifying numbers.

ECOWAS condemns violence

The Financial Group of West African States (ECOWAS) mentioned it “strongly condemns the violence and all makes an attempt to disrupt the constitutional order and rule of regulation in Guinea-Bissau”.

“ECOWAS additional requires the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of the incident in accordance with the regulation,” the Abuja-based organisation added in its assertion on Saturday.

The regional bloc additionally expressed “its full solidarity with the folks and constitutional authorities of Guinea-Bissau”.

A spokesman for United Nations chief Antonio Guterres, Stephane Dujarric, on Friday referred to as for calm and urged the safety forces and the military “to proceed refraining from interference in nationwide politics”.

Corruption allegations

The AFP information company, quoting navy and intelligence sources, mentioned members of the Nationwide Guard on Thursday stormed a police station to free Finance Minister Souleiman Seidi and Treasury Secretary Antonio Monteiro.

The duo had been taken in for questioning on Thursday morning in regards to the reported withdrawal of $10m from state coffers. That they had been detained below orders of state prosecutors who’re named by the president.

They have been later detained once more after the military eliminated them from Nationwide Guard management.

The Nationwide Guard is below the management of the inside ministry, which, like most ministries within the nation, is dominated by the PAIGC get together whose coalition received the June 2023 elections.

There have been a minimum of 10 coups or tried coups in Guinea-Bissau since independence from Portugal in 1974, with just one democratically-elected president finishing a full time period in workplace.

Embalo, who was elected to a five-year time period in December 2019, survived a failed overthrow in February 2022.

West Africa has been hit by a number of navy takeovers over the previous three years, together with two in Mali, one in Guinea, two in Burkina Faso and one in Gabon.

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