Coup Bid Thwarted in Guinea-Bissau After Gunfire Heard in Capital

Gordon B. Johnson

KAMPALA, Uganda—Heavy gunfire raged at the key authorities complicated in Guinea-Bissau, fanning fears that the West African country was on the brink of starting to be the most recent state in the area to see a coup ahead of soldiers thwarted the tried ability get, its chief reported.

The state tv broadcaster Tuesday noted that a team it described as invaders had broken the authorities palace and have been keeping officials inside right before President

Umaro Sissoco Embaló

posted a photo of himself sitting down with the country’s flag in the background. In a online video afterwards uploaded to social media, Mr. Embaló claimed an unspecified range of safety staff experienced been killed warding off the gunmen in a fight long lasting above five hrs, and identified as it “a unsuccessful assault towards democracy.”

He reported the attack was related to moves he experienced taken to overcome drug trafficking and corruption.

The 15-member West African bloc Economic Local community of West African States criticized the assault, describing it as an attempted coup. “ECOWAS condemns this coup endeavor and holds the armed service liable for the bodily integrity of [Mr. Embaló] and the users of his governing administration,” the team stated in a tweet.

The United Nations also flagged its worry, stating that Secretary-Basic

António Guterres

“asks for an fast conclude to the battling and for total regard of the country’s democratic establishments.”

A previous typical and key minister, Mr. Embaló took office environment in February 2020 soon after declaring victory in a presidential vote, but the consequence had been contested by his opponent

Domingos Simões Pereira

and the criticism was however before the country’s Supreme Court docket.

Very last 12 months, the main of the armed forces claimed a team of soldiers experienced been getting ready to start a coup, however the government denied it.

3 other West African nations—Guinea, Mali and most lately Burkina Faso—have noticed their militaries stage coups in the past 18 months, spreading an air instability throughout the location. Guinea-Bissau by itself has observed 4 coups d’etat given that independence from Portugal in 1974 and numerous a lot more tried takeovers.

Some analysts proposed that a raft of profitable coups in neighboring spots may well encourage other people in a location plagued by very poor governance, insecurity and sputtering economies hobbled from the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It appears to be like progressively hard to argue from the plan of coup contagion,” reported

Eric Humphery-Smith,

Africa analyst at Verisk Maplecroft. “Public distrust in civil governments is obviously on the increase, as proven by the well-liked aid for unconstitutional improve of electric power. This is a key fact examine for the region’s swiftly declining record of democratic leaders.”

Thinly populated with all-around 1.5 million people today, Guinea-Bissau obtained great importance all through the 2000s as a transit place for the drug trade amongst Latin The united states and Europe, with traffickers getting advantage of weak regulation enforcement and pervasive corruption in government and affiliated agencies.

Compose to Nicholas Bariyo at [email protected]

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