May 30, 2024 7:58 pm

Heavy gunfire heard near presidential palace in Guinea-Bissau; Prez can’t be found

Heavy gunfire has been heard in the capital of Guinea-Bissau near the seat of the government, according to media reports.

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

The presidential palace is located on the edge of the capital close to the airport.

The state broadcaster reported that the shooting has damaged the Government Palace and that “invaders” are holding government officials.

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, according to AFP news agency.

Embalo, a 49-year-old reserve brigadier general and former prime minister, took office in February 2020 after winning a second-round runoff election that followed four years of political infighting under the country’s semi-presidential system.

He was a candidate for a party called Madem, comprised of rebels from the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) which had led Guinea-Bissau to independence.

Reports indicate the whereabouts of the president are currently unknown as the military has taken over key spots in the country’s capital.

Source: Aljazeera

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