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  • Writer's pictureDahlia Foundation

Guinea-Bissau president says this week’s violence was ‘attempted coup’

Gunfire and clashes that erupted in the capital of Guinea-Bissau this week were an “attempted coup”, President Umaro Sissoco Embalo has said.

Clashes between the National Guard and special forces of the presidential guard broke out in Bissau on Thursday night and continued on Friday after National Guard soldiers freed two senior government officials who were detained on a corruption investigation.

The unrest in the tiny West African nation left at least two people dead.

Embalo, who was in Dubai attending the COP28 climate conference, arrived in Bissau on Saturday and said an “attempted coup d’etat” had prevented him from returning.

“I must tell you this act will have serious consequences,” he added.

Calm had returned by noon on Friday to the nation with a history of instability, following the announcement that the army had captured Colonel Victor Tchongo, the commander of the National Guard.

On Saturday, the security presence in Bissau was reduced but soldiers were still visible around certain strategic buildings such as the presidential palace, the judicial police headquarters and some ministries.

Some National Guard officers and soldiers fled into the interior of the country, the army said in a statement on Saturday, without specifying numbers.

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