Bissau (Agenzia Fides) - An attempted coup by South American drug traffickers or is there more in the failed coup d'état in Guinea Bissau on February 1? Three days after the events that shocked the capital Bissau, it is not clear what really happened in the former Portuguese colony overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
"It was a cold-blooded attack. And the perpetrators were certainly not members of our military. Instead, they were people from the underworld, who wanted to stop my fight against the international drug trafficking", said the President of Guinea-Bissau, Umaro Sissoco Embalo, a few hours after the bloody shooting and the siege that lasted hours on the complex that houses the official residence of the head of the government and the ministries of the Country. On the morning of February 1, a commando attacked the complex, also armed with bazookas, killing 11 people including soldiers, members of the presidential guard and 4 civilians including a senior official from the ministry of Agriculture.
President Embalo said that it was a "very well prepared and organized act", but also an "isolated" act and that the attackers intended to "kill the President of the Republic and the entire cabinet". Eyewitnesses at the time of the attack, claim that this was conducted by several armed men in civilian clothes and not in military uniform. Although Guinea-Bissau is considered a hub for cocaine trafficking between Latin America and Europe, local observers believe that the drug path is not the only explanation for the attempted coup, citing differences between the Prime Minister and the President, and between the latter and the parliament, on the sharing of oil resources on the border with Senegal.
In addition, Embalo, a former general, may have clashed with military leaders, trying to reassert his control over the military. The assault on the political leaders of Guinea Bissau is a further sign of the deterioration of the political situation in West Africa in the last two years, after the series of coups: twice in Mali, in Guinea Conakry and most recently in Burkina Faso. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 4/2/2022)