ECOWAS strongly condemns the violence in Guinea-Bissau

ECOWAS strongly condemns the violence in Guinea-Bissau

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Published on December 2, 2023

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In on the night of Thursday to Friday, December 1, clashes broke out between elements of the national guard, holed up in a barracks south of the capital Bissau, and the special forces of the presidential guard. All of this Fighting left at least two dead, according to a military official.


Another military official, who spoke on condition of anonymity Saturday due to the sensitivity of the situation, said six wounded soldiers had been evacuated toward neighboring Senegal. Mid-morning Friday, calm returned with the announcement of the capture or surrender of the commander of the national guard, Colonel Victor Tchongo.

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ECOWAS, in a press release published on Saturday, “strongly condemns the violence and all attempts aimed at disrupting the constitutional order and the rule of law in Guinea-Bissau", calling for "the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of the incident”. She “expresses her complete solidarity with the people and the authorities constitutional of Guinea-Bissau. On Friday, the UN called for respect for the rule of law and urged members of the security forces and armed forces “to continue to refrain from interference in national politics.”

Thursdays evening, elements of the national guard burst into the premises of the judicial police to extract the Minister of Economy and Finance, Souleiman Seidi, and the Secretary of State for the Public Treasury, Antonio Monteiro, according to military and intelligence officials.

Political rivalry

The two members of the government were questioned by the judicial police about a withdrawal of ten million dollars from the state coffers, on the instructions of the attorney general, appointed by le President Umaro Sissoco Embaló. For its part, the National Guard essentially responds to the Ministry of the Interior, dominated – like the main ministries – by the PAIGC.

After the victory of the coalition he led in the legislative elections in June 2023, the historic Guinea-Bissau independence party had made its comeback to the government, despite the notorious tensions and disagreements that its leaders have with President Embaló.

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Souleiman Seidi and Antonio Monteiro were recovered safely. They have detained again. President Embaló, elected in December 2019 for five years, is in Dubai to attend theat the 28th United Nations conference on climate (COP28).

(With AFP)

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