Guinea-Bissau – President killed

Nino Vieira, president of Guinea-Bissau, has been killed by the armed forces. He was shot early on Monday when his official residence came under attack. It appears as if the attack was in retaliation against the killing of the head of the armed forces, Batista Tagmé Na Way, in a bomb blast the previous day. Jeune afrique reports that an army spokesperson linked the two events.

As I understand it, General Tagmé Na Way was engaged in a process of disarming the so-called ‘aguentas’, a militia who had been loyal to the president since the uprising in 1998 and who had acted as his protection force since the previous assassination attempt against him last November. This event apparently caused the president to lose any confidence in General Tagmé Na Way.

According to Afrique en ligne, the capital, Bissau, was calm on Monday after the attack.

(There is a review of an anthropological study of the ‘aguentas’ by Jónína Einarsdóttir, ‘Navigating Terrains of War: Youth and Soldiering in Guinea Bissau’, in Africa: The Journal of the International African Institute, Volume 78, Number 2, 2008, pp. 319-320).


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