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Guinea-Bissau president dissolves parliament after shootout between security forces

Guinea-Bissau president dissolves parliament after shootout between security forces
December 04
15:57 2023

Guinea-Bissau President Umaro Sissoco Embalo has dissolved the country’s parliament following the shootout between members of the presidential palace battalion and the national guard.

In a decree on Monday, Embalo said “the normal functioning of the institutions of the Republic has become impossible”.

“The date for holding the next legislative elections will be set in due time in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution,” the decree reads.

“This Presidential Decree comes into force immediately.”

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On Friday, there was a shootout between the national guard and special forces of the presidential guard.

The shootout was reportedly part of attempts to re-arrest Souleiman Seidi, finance minister, and Antonio Monteiro, secretary of state for the treasury.

Seidi and Monteiro had been detained amid investigations into the alleged irregular withdrawal of $10 million of state funds.

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They were questioned on Thursday afternoon by an anti-corruption inquiry to clarify payments to 11 companies.

After the interrogation, the minister and Monteiro were arrested and detained in order not to jeopardise the probe.

Hours later, national guard soldiers invaded the police cells “with AK-47 weapons and bazookas” and freed the detained officials.

Speaking on the issue on Saturday, Embalo had described the violence as an attempted coup, and promised “serious consequences” for the perpetrators.

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In February 2022, there was an attack on the presidential palace which was also described as a coup attempt.

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