Soldiers have arrested Guinea-Bissau's prime minister and interim president, power in the country's capital was shut off, and the country's state radio has been compromised which would be in keeping with the recent history of what The Associated Press refers to as a "tiny, coup-prone African nation." The country has seen six coups or attempted coups since the 1980s.
News reports coming out of the region are scarce, and though the military actions have faced sharp disapproval from the U.S. Embassy in Senegal and a group representing the West African nations, it's unclear what's actually going on other than an attack on the country's prime minister and interim president. According to the BBC, military officials are holding Guinea Bissau Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Jr. and Interim President Raimundo Pereira captive. The AFP reports:
Soldiers armed with rocket-propelled grenades and Kalashnikov rifles also took control of the ruling party headquarters and the state radio station and rounded up politicians as gunfire resounded and ambulance sirens wailed in the capital Bissau, which was plunged into darkness as electricity was cut off.
According to AP, the military officials who attacked Pereira and Gomez's homes have claimed they don't want to take power. The AFP adds, "The military issued a terse statement on Friday saying the apparent coup was in response to a “secret deal” between Guinea-Bissau and Angola, both former Portuguese colonies."
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This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.