Guinea-Bissau’s ex-army chief ‘arrested’

Military leader Jose Zamora Induta, who fled in aftermath of last month’s coup, detained in Senegal’s Casamance region.

Police said Jose Zamora Induta was arrested along with three people in Senegal where he fled after the coup [EPA]

Guinea-Bissau’s former chief of the armed forces, who fled the country in the wake of last month’s coup in the West African country, has been arrested in Senegal, a police source has said.

The source said Jose Zamora Induta, who had voiced fears for his life after another senior military official was assassinated in March, was arrested on Thursday in the Casamance region, which borders Guinea-Bissau.

Induta was arrested along with three people, the source said on condition of anonymity. It was not clear who carried out the arrest and whether Induta would be extradited.

The news came days after Guinea-Bissau’s military junta said it would hand power back to civilian leaders, six weeks after it toppled the government and derailed elections.

The announcement followed a deal between the self-styled Military Command and the regional bloc called the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) that put in place transitional president Manuel Sherifo Nhamadjo, installed a 600-strong ECOWAS force, and promised new elections in 12 months.

Travel bans

Pressure on the junta to surrender power has been increasing, with the UN Security Council voting unanimously last week to impose sanctions on the coup leaders and their supporters.

A resolution adopted by the council named four generals and one lieutenant colonel who will be subject to a travel ban.

It warned that the council will consider strengthening sanctions by adding an arms embargo and freezing financial assets if constitutional order was not restored.

Those subject to a travel ban include Lieutenant-General Antonio Injai, who read the first communique issued after the coup; Major-General Mamadu Ture, the deputy armed forces chief; General Estevao Na Mena, the armed forces inspector general; Brigadier-General Ibraima Camara, the air force chief of staff and Lieutenant-Colonel Daba Naualna, spokesman for the new “Military Command.”

The Security Council made clear that other individuals may be added to the list by the committee it established to monitor implementation of the sanctions.

Guinea-Bissau was just weeks away from holding a presidential runoff election when soldiers attacked the front-runner’s home and arrested him along with the country’s interim president on April 12. They have since fled the country.

The former Portuguese colony has long been plagued by coups and no leader in nearly 40 years of the country’s independence has completed his term.

The country has also become a major transit point for drug trafficking from South America to Europe.

Source: News Agencies