Military seizes power in Guinea-Bissau
A senior diplomat in Guinea-Bissau says the military has taken over the central district of the capital and there are reports of heavy arms fire including mortar shelling.
The diplomat who could not be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media said Thursday the whereabouts of the country’s interim president and prime minister are unknown.
“There is some trouble. We don’t know what it is. There is shooting, sporadic machine gun fire and there have been three loud bangs … We hear it is coming from near Carlos Gomes Junior’s house,” a diplomat in the capital Bissau told Reuters.
State television had stopped broadcasting.
Guinea-Bissau has weathered successive coups and attempted coups since winning independence from Portugal in 1974. The country was due to hold a runoff election on April 29, pitting Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Jr. against a former president, Kumba Yala.
Yala recently announced that he planned to boycott the vote. The emergency election is being held after the death of former leader Malam Bacai Sanha, who died in January after being rushed to Paris for treatment for end-stage diabetes.