Guinea Bissau Navy Chief Accused of Coup Attempt

Posted December 26th, 2011 at 2:55 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Guinea Bissau's top army official says the country's navy chief has been arrested for trying to overthrow the government.

Army General Antonio Indjai says Rear-Admiral Bubo Na Tchuto tried to carry out a military coup early Monday, when rebel soldiers stormed the armed forces headquarters in the capital, Bissau.

Indjai and Tchuto were often at odds as military chiefs in the poor West African country, which is known for its instability and coup attempts.

Witnesses in Bissau sat military factions battled each other in the capital, forcing Prime Minister Carlos Gomes to briefly flee to the Angolan embassy near his home.

Guinea Bissau's general counsel in Angola, Isac Monteiro, confirms the claim to VOA. He says at one point Angolan troops guarding the embassy fired at Guinea Bissau soldiers who were trying to take the prime minister hostage.

General Indjai claims the military has control of the armed forces headquarters and that the “situation is under control.”

Residents report a heavy military presence in the streets of the capital.

Meanwhile, President Malam Bacai Sanha is still out of the country, several weeks after traveling to Paris to undergo a medical procedure for an undisclosed condition.

The president is known to have diabetes and trouble with the hemoglobin levels in his blood.

Mr. Sanha was elected president of the former Portuguese colony in 2009, four months after the assassination of President Joao Bernardo Vieira.