Guinea-Bissau President labels recent violence as “attempted coup” with severe consequences

Guinea-Bissau President Umaro Sissoco Embalo

3rd December 2023 – (Bissau) Guinea-Bissau President Umaro Sissoco Embalo has labelled the recent violence in the capital as an “attempted coup” with grave consequences for all involved. President Embalo made this statement during a press conference at Osvaldo Vieira International Airport on Saturday evening upon his return from the COP28 climate conference in Dubai.

The clashes occurred between elements of the National Guard and the special forces of the Presidential Guard during the night from Thursday to Friday. In a press release issued by the General Staff of the Armed Forces, it was reported that at 8pm (2000 GMT) on Thursday, a group of soldiers, led by their commander Colonel Victor Tchongo, freed individuals who were undergoing questioning at the judicial police building.

Military sources have confirmed that Colonel Tchongo and some of his associates were arrested by the military police on Friday morning. It was revealed that Tchongo’s actions were allegedly prompted by a request to release the Minister of Finance from the custody of the judicial police.

President Embalo has announced that a commission of inquiry will be established on Monday to investigate the situation surrounding the attempted coup. He emphasized the seriousness of the matter and the potential consequences for all involved.

It is worth noting that this is not the first time President Embalo has faced a coup attempt. On 1st February, 2022, members of the Guinea-Bissau army launched a failed coup against him.

The situation in Guinea-Bissau remains tense as authorities work to restore stability and investigate the recent violence. The government’s response to the attempted coup will be closely watched, both domestically and internationally, as the country strives to maintain peace and security.