There is violence between groups of security forces in the capital of Guinea-Bissau

Loud gunfire was heard in Guinea-Bissau’s capital early Friday after members of the National Guard attacked the criminal investigation headquarters near the Bandim market in an attempt to free the economy and finance minister. Suleimane Seidiand to the Minister of Finance, Antonio Monteiro, arrested for alleged corruption. Although calm returned to the streets early in the morning.

Dozens of military commanders were arrested after the incident. Hours later the colonel was arrested Victor TchongoCommander of the National Guard, after an exchange of fire against members of the Guinean army’s special forces early Friday morning.

A source from the Armed Forces General Staff confirmed this to the local newspaper Or Democrat that Tchongo and the head of operations of the National Guard, as well as some members of that unit’s Rapid Intervention Brigade (BIR), were arrested by forces under the command of the General Staff.

Seidi and Monteiro were questioned and arrested on Thursday in connection with alleged payments to companies worth ten million dollars. The same source reported that both were found in the premises of the National Guard barracks and taken to the Criminal Investigation Department headquarters.

A criminal investigation source confirmed to the same newspaper that the finance minister and foreign minister had arrived at the police station “safely”. Uncertainty remains in Bissau, waiting for the details of events to be clarified, with a heavy presence of agents patrolling the streets.

The events occurred when the president of this small African country in West Africa, Umaro Sissoco packedtravels to Dubai to attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28).

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Guinea-Bissau has been in political instability since 2015 and has suffered numerous military uprisings and four successful coups since its independence from Portugal (declared in 1973 and recognized in 1974). The last failed attempt occurred on February 1, 2022, when a group of armed men in civilian clothes surrounded the Presidential Palace while an extraordinary meeting of the Council of Ministers was taking place in the presence of the President and Prime Minister.

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