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African Union, Ecowas condemn attempted coup in Guinea-Bissau

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The African Union and the West African regional bloc, ECOWAS have all condemned what they called an attempted coup in Guinea-Bissau.

Gunfire was heard near a ministerial building in Guinea-Bissau where President Umaro Sissoco Embaló and Prime Minister Nuno Gomes Nabiam were having a meeting on Tuesday.

At least one police officer was killed in the gunfire in the capital Bissau. The firing has now now subsided.

Military vehicles laden with troops have been driving through the streets of the capital to restore order.

The military and police had gone to the scene where the armed men were firing, following which a police officer was shot.

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The current whereabouts of President Umaro Sissoco Embaló and Prime Minister Nuno Gomes Nabiam are unknown.

Guinea-Bissau’s Foreign Minister Suzi Barboza told the BBC that she is currently outside the country and awaits news about the president.

Ecowas in a statement said it will hold “the military responsible for the wellbeing of President Umaro Sissoco Embaló and members of his government”.

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The African Union followed with a statement expressing regret at the development and asked the soldiers to return to their barracks.

The West African nation has a long history of political instability and military coups, the last of which was in 2012.

Nine coups or attempted coups since independence from Portugal in 1974 have taken place in Guinea-Bissau.

Guinea-Bissau: Heavy gunfire at presidential meeting compound


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