Africa

Guinea-Bissau blames Portugal and ex-premier for Bissau’s attack

potGuinea-Bissau’s authorities have blamed Portugal and country’s ex-Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior for an attack on the barracks of an elite unit in Bissau.

“The government considers Portugal, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) and a former prime minister, Carlos Gomes Junior as the instigators of this attempt at destabilization…,” West African country’s Communications Minister Fernando Vaz said in a statement on Monday.

The main purpose of the raid is to bring Gomes Junior back to power, he added.

On October 21, unknown gunmen attacked army barracks near the airport in the capital city of Bissau where at least seven people were killed.

Soldiers fought off the assault after about an hour and forced the armed men to escape, witnesses said.

A few hours after the attack, army vehicles crisscrossed the capital and defense and security forces were also deployed to the airport and the surrounding area.

The pre-dawn raid is likely to increase tensions in the African country, where the military seized power in a coup in April 2012.

On April 12, Guinea-Bissau’s army soldiers arrested the country’s former prime minister and presidential front-runner, Carlos Gomes Junior, in his residence in the capital and whisked him away in a pick-up truck.

The soldiers also seized both the ruling party’s headquarters and the national radio in a move the army later described as a response to a “secret deal” between Guinea-Bissau and Angola, both former Portuguese colonies.

The African Union (AU) condemned the coup as “outrageous.”

Guinea-Bissau, one of the poorest countries in the world, has a history of coups and uprisings since it declared independence from Portugal in 1974.

In recent years, it has become the target of international drug gangs who use its islands, coast, and interior for smuggling cocaine to Europe.

 

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