February 22, 2024

Heavy gunfire heard around Guinea Bissau government palace

Heavily-armed men surrounded the Palace of Government, where President Umaro Sissoco Embalo and Prime Minister Nuno Gomes Nabiam were believed to have gone to attend a cabinet meeting.

The Palace of Government is on the edge of the capital close to the airport.

People were seen fleeing the area, the local markets were closed and banks shut their doors, while military vehicles laden with troops drove through the streets, AFP report.

Shortly after the first reports of the gunfire on Tuesday, the West African regional federation ECOWAS condemned what it described as an attempted coup in Guinea-Bissau.

According to the AFP “ECOWAS is following with great concern the evolution of the situation in Guinea-Bissau…where military gunfire is taking place around the government palace,” the organisation said.

“ECOWAS condemns this attempted coup and holds the military responsible for the safety of President Umaro Sissoco Embalo and members of his government.”

A United Nations spokesman said on Tuesday that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is “deeply concerned” by reports of heavy fighting in Guinea-Bissau and asks for an immediate end to the violence and for full respect of country’s democracy.

photo credit: google

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