Guinea-Bissau’s President Umaro Sissoco Embalo has disclosed that the gunfire and clashes that had erupted in the capital of the West African nation on Friday were an attempted coup to remove his government from office.
The president was away in Dubai where he was attending the COP28 UN climate summit.
Speaking with journalists upon his return to Bissau, Embalo explained that the events of December 1, are yet another attempted coup and those responsible will suffer serious consequences.
Clashes erupted between two army factions in Bissau on Thursday night and continued on Friday morning after national guard soldiers freed an opposition minister who was detained in a corruption probe.
The tiny West African country has a history of coups and attempted coups. In February 2022, about six people were killed during a failed attempt to overthrow Embalo.
The latest political turbulence is coming at a time when coups or attempted coups are sweeping the West Africa subregion, including Gabon, Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea, and, last week, Sierra Leone.
The regional ECOWAS and other Western allies including the UK, US and EU have condemned the attack while calling for the perpetrators to be sanctioned accordingly.