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A coup fails

The coup-in-progress in Guinea-Bissau mentioned in this morning’s brief appears to have failed:  The prime minister of Guinea-Bissau, Carlos Gomes Junior, has been released after being briefly detained by soldiers in an apparent coup attempt. Military music played on the radio, a telltale sign of a coup, during the incident. Gomes was released hours later ...

The coup-in-progress in Guinea-Bissau mentioned in this morning’s brief appears to have failed: 

The prime minister of Guinea-Bissau, Carlos Gomes Junior, has been released after being briefly detained by soldiers in an apparent coup attempt. Military music played on the radio, a telltale sign of a coup, during the incident. Gomes was released hours later as hundreds of people gathered in front of his office chanting "Never a coup d’etat in Guinea-Bissau."

The minister of territorial administration, Luis Sanca, said he and the prime minister were abducted by the soldiers at 8am and taken to the capital’s main military camp, where they saw the head of the armed forces, Zamora Induta, also under guard. Sanca said the soldiers released him and Gomes at about 11 but were still holding the army chief.

"The prime minister has been freed and is meeting the president," said a family member, who asked not to be named. Mamadou Diao, the prime minister’s press attache, confirmed the release.

It would be wishful thinking to hope that things will return to normal in Guinea-Bissau, an archetypal failing state and major drug transshipment point, but after a series of coups and assassinations over the last few years, it’s good news that the government appears to have held on. Leaders of the West African regional body ECOWAS, having already suspended Guinea and Niger after recent coups, are probably breathing a sigh of relief as well. 

The coup-in-progress in Guinea-Bissau mentioned in this morning’s brief appears to have failed: 

The prime minister of Guinea-Bissau, Carlos Gomes Junior, has been released after being briefly detained by soldiers in an apparent coup attempt. Military music played on the radio, a telltale sign of a coup, during the incident. Gomes was released hours later as hundreds of people gathered in front of his office chanting "Never a coup d’etat in Guinea-Bissau."

The minister of territorial administration, Luis Sanca, said he and the prime minister were abducted by the soldiers at 8am and taken to the capital’s main military camp, where they saw the head of the armed forces, Zamora Induta, also under guard. Sanca said the soldiers released him and Gomes at about 11 but were still holding the army chief.

"The prime minister has been freed and is meeting the president," said a family member, who asked not to be named. Mamadou Diao, the prime minister’s press attache, confirmed the release.

It would be wishful thinking to hope that things will return to normal in Guinea-Bissau, an archetypal failing state and major drug transshipment point, but after a series of coups and assassinations over the last few years, it’s good news that the government appears to have held on. Leaders of the West African regional body ECOWAS, having already suspended Guinea and Niger after recent coups, are probably breathing a sigh of relief as well. 

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy  Twitter: @joshuakeating

Tag: Africa