Conflicts & War

Calm returns to Guinea-Bissau after failed coup

Bissau, Feb 2 (EFE).- Calm returned to Guinea-Bissau on Wednesday after a failed coup attempt that involved heavy gunfire near the presidential palace in the capital.

Public transportation in the West African nation resumed regular operations, according to the country’s official news agency ANG.

Guinea-Bissau’s president Umaro Sissoco Embalo said Tuesday night that the situation was brought under control, and went ahead with a meeting with France’s ambassador to the former Portuguese colony, Terence Wills, on Wednesday.

The gunfire on Tuesday came while a cabinet meeting was taking place, at which Embalo and prime minister Nuno Gomes Nabiam were present.

At least six people died, according to military sources and local media.

Embalo said Tuesday that several people had been killed and injured amid the attempted coup but did not give exact numbers.

The exchange of fire lasted for five hours and involved people linked to drug trafficking, one of the biggest issues facing Guinea-Bissau.

“Not only are the military involved in this, but also this whole situation is due to our fight against drug trafficking,” Embalo said, adding it was a “well-prepared and organized” attack.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union called the incident an attempted coup and demanded an immediate return to constitutional order.

The coup attempt follows several government overthrows in the West African region since August 2020, the last being in Burkina Faso on January 24.

Since its independence from Portugal in 1974, Guinea-Bissau has suffered several military uprisings, including four successful military takeovers.EFE


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