Elite political instability continues in Guinea-Bissau

The late Pres. Vieira. Source: Wikipedia

UPDATE: The coup leaders have set up a transitional government and dissolved all state institutions.

The BBC reports:

Soldiers have taken control of much of the capital of the Guinea-Bissau in what appears to be a coup attempt.

Heavy gunfire was been heard in the city of Bissau and the residence of outgoing President Carlos Gomes was reportedly attacked.

Troops have also taken control of the national radio station and the ruling party’s headquarters.

I have a strong feeling that this latest coup attempt (just like the murder of President Vieira and Gen. Waie and last December’s coup attempt) is related to the drug trade. Since mid last year the country has witnessed multiple coup attempts, despite a brief flirtation with democratic rule under the late President Sanha.

Guinea-Bissau is among West Africa’s budding narco states which have, in the last decade or so, become a major transit point of drugs from Latin America destined for European markets.

Guinea Bissau President is Dead, succession still unclear

Bacai Sanha, President of Guinea-Bissau has died in a Paris hospital.

Mr. Sanha was elected president in July 2009 following the assassination of former president Joao Bernardo Vieira by elements in the military.

Guinea Bissau has in the recent past experienced drug-trafficking-related political instability. Mr. Vieira’s murder was linked to a dispute between him and his military chief over drug connections. Last month’s arrest of  the head of the navy on suspicion of plotting a coup was also drug related. It remains unclear whether Mr. Sanha’s succession will follow constitutional channels or whether the military will take over.

More on this soon.