Guinea-Bissau army says in control after gunfire, clashes

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Gunfire was heard in Guinea's capital Bissau overnight, where the army says the situation is under control after clashes.  (Photo: AFP)

Gunfire was heard in Guinea’s capital Bissau in a single day, the place the army says the state of affairs is underneath control after clashes. (Photo: AFP)

BISSAU – Guinea Bissau’s army mentioned on Friday it was in control after a gun battle in the capital between safety forces items left two lifeless, underscoring political divisions in the small West African nation with a historical past of instability.

Gunfire was heard by way of a part of the night time and early Friday in Bissau, in clashes between members of the nationwide guard and particular forces that had been defending the president, an AFP reporter heard.

​​​​2 individuals died in the combating, mentioned a navy official talking on situation of anonymity as a result of sensitivity of the matter. It was not clear which aspect the victims had been from.

Calm returned by mid-morning, with the army asserting the arrest or give up of the commander of the nationwide guard.

Daily exercise remained in the middle of Bissau, the place there was a navy pick-up on patrol.

Security was intensified close to the presidency, the overall employees of the army and judicial police.

{A photograph} despatched by the army to the media reportedly confirmed Colonel Victor Tchongo being held by the army in a pick-up truck in what seemed to be bloody garments.

“Colonel Tchongo is in our palms. The state of affairs is totally underneath control,” the spokesman for the pinnacle of the navy employees, Captain Jorgito Biague, instructed AFP.

A navy official, talking on situation of anonymity, mentioned Tchongo surrendered.

The army chief of employees issued an announcement asking the inhabitants to stay calm.

The spokesman of the chief government of the United Nations Antonio Guterres Stephane Dujarric echoed the decision for calm and inspired the safety forces and the army to “proceed to chorus from interfering in nationwide politics”.

Members of the nationwide guard burst into police buildings late Thursday to free two members of the federal government who had been being questioned, in accordance with navy and intelligence sources, who spoke on situation of anonymity for safety causes.

They took the 2 officers – Minister of Economy and Finance Souleiman Seidi and Secretary of State for the Treasury Antonio Monteiro – to an unknown location on Thursday night time, earlier than looking for refuge in the barracks in the southern district of Santa Luzia, the sources mentioned.

The two authorities members had been discovered protected, the navy official mentioned on Friday. They are in detention once more.

– Alliances at work? –

“My children and I had been up all night time due to the taking pictures. The children are scared and cling to me each time the weapons go off,” a trainer mentioned by telephone, declining to be recognized for security causes.

Guinea-Bissau has been politically unstable since independence from Portugal in 1974, going by way of 4 coups and a number of other tried coups.

An try was made in February 2022 to overthrow President Umaro Sissoco Embalo.

The in a single day occasions seem to replicate a “fractional state” and an outdated rivalry between the present president and the historic ruling occasion, the PAIGC, Vincent Foucher of France’s National Center for Scientific Research instructed AFP.

Judicial police questioned the 2 authorities members on directions from the Prosecutor General, appointed by the president.

The nationwide guard solutions to the inside ministry, which is led by the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), as produce other ministries following the victory of the PAIGC-led coalition in the June legislative elections.

“If the nationwide guard goes (to the judicial police), it’s as a result of it’s underneath the authority of the Interior; if the presidential guard intervenes, it’s as a result of it’s underneath that of the president,” mentioned Foucher.

“This is how issues work in Guinea-Bissau.”

The two members of the federal government had been introduced by the judges early Thursday and remanded in custody.

Police questioned them for a number of hours concerning the withdrawal of $10 million from state coffers, in accordance with the navy and intelligence sources.

Seidi was questioned throughout a session of the National Assembly on Monday and mentioned the withdrawal was authorized and supposed to help the nationwide personal sector.

Embalo, who was elected in December 2019, is presently in Dubai attending the United Nations Climate Conference, COP28.

Shortly after coups in Niger and Gabon, Embalo in September reorganized his personal safety, appointing two new officers to positions that had not been crammed for years.

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