Guinea-Bissau president 'unhurt'

Joao Bernardo Vieria reassures residents after "mutinous soldiers" attack his home.

    Parliamentary elections were held in Guinea-Bissau one week ago [EPA]

    "No one has the right to massacre the people of Guinea-Bissau in order to steal power by means of the gun.''

    The walls of his fortified house were scarred with bullets and its floors still were littered with shell casings.

    But calm appeared to have returned the capital, Bissau, and Vieira assured citizens that "the situation is under control".

    Previous attempts

    Guinea-Bissau has had multiple coups and attempted coups since 1980, when
    Vieira himself first took power in one.

    The UN says impoverished Guinea-Bissau, on the Atlantic coast of Africa, is a key transit point for cocaine smuggled from Latin America to Europe.

    In parliamentary elections held a week ago, Kumba Yala, the opposition leader and former president, accused Vieira of being the country's top drug trafficker.

    The president did not comment on the accusation.

    Abdoulaye Wade, the president of neighbouring Senegal, ordered troops to the border with Guinea-Bissau on Sunday after receiving a panicked phone call from Vieira in the night, El Hadj Amadou Sall, Wade's spokesman, said.

    "The troops will stay at the border until we are sure the situation has stabilised,'' Sall said.

    The African Union condemned the attack.

    AU condemnation

    The AU rejects "any unconstitutional change of government and condemns in
    advance any attempt to seize power by force", Jean Ping, the AU commission chairman, said in a statement.

    Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, also condemned the attack.

    Ban noted "with great concern reports of the alleged involvement of elements of the Armed Forces of Guinea-Bissau in the attack, and calls upon them to refrain from any measures that could further destabilize the country", his spokesman said in a statement.

    Guinea-Bissau, a former Portuguese colony, has a history of coups and misrule.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    We visualised 1.2 million votes at the UN since 1946. What do you think are the biggest issues facing the world today?

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.