The president of Guinea-Bissau said he survived an attempted coup but that “many” members of his security forces died as gunmen tried to kill him and Cabinet members at the government palace. Local media reported at least six deaths linked to the attack. President Umaro Cissoko Embaló, a former army general, said the attack was linked to drug trafficking, though details remain unclear for now. Embaló took office in February 2020 after a contested election. Guinea-Bissau has endured a series of military coups and attempted military takeovers since gaining independence from Portugal in 1974. Tuesday’s attack was the latest in a string of coups or attempted coups in West Africa. The U.N. secretary-general decried mounting instability in the region Tuesday.
Secretary-General António Guterres: “We are seeing a terrible multiplication of coups. And our strong appeal is for soldiers to go back to the barracks and for the constitutional order to be fully in place in the democratic context of today’s Guinea-Bissau.”
Meanwhile, on Monday, the African Union suspended Burkina Faso following last week’s military coup which deposed President Roch Kaboré.