Guinea-Bissau: Unrest Unfolds in the Capital

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
2 Min Read

Gunfire erupted from the night of Thursday, November 30, to Friday, December 1st, near a barracks in the south of the city, where elements of the National Guard had taken refuge. This detachment attempted, in the evening, to free a minister and a secretary of state who were in police custody at the judicial police headquarters before retreating to this barracks.

Special forces attempted to storm the facility before interrupting the operation to make way for negotiations. These seem to have failed as gunfire resumed in the morning.

Around 10 p.m. on November 30, elements of the national guard stormed the premises of the judicial police to extract the Minister of Economy and Finance, Souleiman Seidi, and the Secretary of State for Public Treasury, Antonio Monteiro, who were in custody on suspicion of malfeasance.

Precarious Calm

The national guard managed to extract the two officials, led them to an unknown destination, and then took refuge in a barracks in the Santa-Luzia neighborhood in the south of Bissau. After several mediation attempts, special forces intervened. Heavy gunfire was exchanged before a return to a precarious calm, now disrupted by new gunfire on the morning of December 1.

Ten Million Dollars

These events occur while Guinea-Bissau President Umaro Sissoco Embalo is in Dubai participating in COP28. It is still unknown where the minister and the secretary of state are, at the center of controversy over a withdrawal of ten million dollars from the state coffers. Asked about the matter by lawmakers on Monday, the finance minister claimed that the withdrawal was legal and intended to support the country’s private sector.


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