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Guinea-Bissau ‘coup attempt’: What we know so far plus ECOWAS reaction

 

ECOWAS chair Akufo-Addo (left) with Guinea-Bissau President Umaru Sissoco Embalo

Fears of a coup attempt in Guinea-Bissau

Gunshots heard around presidential palace

Development comes a week after Burkina Faso coup

West African regional bloc, ECOWAS, have reacted to a purported coup attempt in Guinea-Bissau even as it comes to terms with the January 24 coup in Burkina Faso.

The terse statement issued amid viral reports of a coup in Bissau addressed three major issues;

1 – ECOWAS said it was following developments after gunshots were reported around the Presidential palace.

2 – It condemned what it called an “attempted coup” and tasked the military to ensure the safety of President Umaru Sissoco Embalo and members of his government.

3 – Called on the military to return to the barracks and undertake their constitutionally mandated duties.

What we know so far

Sustained gunfire was reported near government headquarters in Guinea-Bissau, the Agence France Press has reported earlier today, February 1, 2022.

AFP cited its reporters for the development in the tiny former Portuguese colony that is famed for coups. Reuters and the BBC have also reported same.

Information remains scanty at this point but below are five major points we have gleaned from the fluid situation:

1 – Gunshots have been confirmed by multiple sources – journalists, diplomats and residents.

2 – A cabinet meeting led by the President was going on at the time the gunshots started.

3 – Reuters reports that two people have reportedly been killed.

A security source with contacts inside the building said people had been hit by the gunfire. A second source said two people were dead, but it was unclear if they were security forces or those who launched the attack, a Reuters report said.

4 – Social media postings allege that ministers have been rounded up at the Presidency

5 – Neither government nor any group of soldiers have spoken about today’s incident

The country is currently being led by Umar Sissoco Embalo, a former Prime Minister and army chief turned president.

He won a run-off election in 2019 despite placing second in the first round. He took office in February 2020.

Concerns have been raised about a resurgence of coups across West Africa after juntas in Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso carried out ousters of their leaders in the last two years.

Lamentations and concerns have trailed the development on social media platforms with some calling it a ‘coup season’ for West Africa.

GhanaWeb is closely following the development…

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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