Guinea-Bissau – Coup

There has been a coup in Guinea-Bissau. The interim president, the prime minister and various ministers have been detained. The constitution has been suspended.

The coup comes just two weeks before the second round of the presidential election. At the first round, Carlos Gomes Júnior of the PAIGC only just failed to gain a majority. The second round was due to be held on 29 April. However, the other second round candidate, Koumba Yalá, who is a former president and who was himself previously toppled in a coup, had called for the second round to be boycotted. He is from a different ethnic community to Carlos Gomes Júnior and he would clearly have lost the election. So, this was probably just politicking, but it didn’t help to create a sense of stability.

Officially, the coup was in response to claims that the government had reached a secret agreement with Angolan military forces to take over the country’s own military forces following the presidential election. Jeune Afrique reports that there has been an Angolan UN-backed force in Guinea-Bissau since last year.

It seems as if the majority of the military in Guinea-Bissau supports the coup.


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