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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

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    The president of Guinea-Bissau has called this week’s hostilities a “attempted coup.”

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    Guinea-Bissau President Umaro Sissoco Embalo labeled this week’s fighting between army groups as a “attempted coup” with significant implications on Saturday.

    While Embalo was in Dubai attending a UN climate summit, the National Guard fired gunfire with special forces personnel at military camps south of Bissau.

    “This is a coup attempt, and there will be serious consequences for all those involved,” Embalo told reporters in Bissau after returning home.

    “I was in Dubai for the COP28 conference.” Because of the coup attempt, I was unable to return.”

    The gunfight erupted when National Guard soldiers released Finance Minister Sulemaine Seide and Secretary of State for the Treasury Antonio Monteiro, who had been detained late Thursday for attempting to withdraw $10 million from state funds to lend to 11 businesspeople.

    On Saturday, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) bloc “strongly” condemned the violence as well as “all attempts to disrupt the constitutional order and rule of law in Guinea-Bissau.”

    Since its independence from Portugal in 1974, Guinea-Bissau, a West African state nestled between Senegal, Guinea, and the Atlantic Ocean, has witnessed over a dozen coups, coup conspiracies, or attempted armed rebellions.

    Embalo, who was elected to a five-year term in 2019, escaped a coup attempt in February 2022.

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