Gunshots in Guinea-Bissau raise fears of another coup in Africa

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso – An eruption of gunfire near the presidential palace in the small West African nation of Guinea-Bissau signal...

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso – An eruption of gunfire near the presidential palace in the small West African nation of Guinea-Bissau signaled that a coup attempt was underway, the main regional organization – the latest a series of attempted military takeovers throughout the region, most of which have been successful.

Guinea-Bissau, a poor coastal nation bordering Senegal and Guinea, is sadly familiar with military takeovers. The country has withstood at least four successful coups and more than a dozen takeover attempts, the last in 2012since its independence from Portugal 48 years ago.

President Umaro Sissoco Embaló, who came to power in 2020 following disputed elections the previous year, was holding a cabinet meeting at the presidency around noon on Tuesday when the first bursts of gunfire were heard, the agencies said. Press.

Last week in the landlocked West African country Burkina Faso, the military took power and announced a suspension of the Constitution. In the last year and a half alone, there have been military takeovers in Mali, Guinea and Chad. Further east, in Sudan, the military also took control three months ago.

The sight of men in fatigues taking control with such regularity, often in neighboring countries, has fueled fears of “coup contagion” across a wide belt of sub-Saharan Africa. On Monday, the African Union announced that it was suspend Burkina Fasountil constitutional order is restored in the country.

While many of the most recent military takeovers have been fueled by popular anger over the failure of elected governments to stem growing violence by Islamist groups and other armed groups in the Sahel, the vast region south of the Sahara, the prospect of a coup in Guinea-Bissau was less surprising.

In one declaration Noting its “great concern” about the gunshots, the Economic Community of West African States, the main regional body, condemned what it called an “attempted coup” in Guinea-Bissau and warned that it would hold the army responsible for the security of President Embaló and senior officials.

A spokesperson for United Nations Secretary General António Guterres noted he was “deeply concerned by the news of heavy fighting” in the capital, Bissau, and called for “an immediate end to the fighting and full respect for the country’s democratic institutions”.

Reached by telephone, several residents expressed growing unease over the gunfire, although in some parts of Bissau many continued with their normal activities.

Mamadu Jao said he was in a market around noon when news of the gunshots spread by word of mouth. “At the moment everything is calm here and people are going about their business,” he said. “We heard that there were two deaths but we don’t know more.”

Mady Camara contributed reporting from Dakar.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Gunshots in Guinea-Bissau raise fears of another coup in Africa
Gunshots in Guinea-Bissau raise fears of another coup in Africa
Newsrust - US Top News
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