Guinea-Bissau probes death of ex spy boss

2012-03-20 22:25

Bissau - Guinea-Bissau said on Tuesday it has launched a probe into the assassination of its former military intelligence chief, which has overshadowed the troubled nation's presidential poll.

"The inquiry into the death of Colonel Samba Diallo began yesterday [Monday]," said attorney general Edmundo Mendes.

There are concerns of the vote being derailed in a country with a chequered history of coups and deadly score-settling between the army and state. The United Nations has called for calm.

Sunday's election was seen as a test of the west African country's commitment to stability - with army reform seen as vital to normalising a dysfunctional state sorely in need of development.

However, just hours after a peaceful day of voting ended, Diallo was shot dead by men in military dress as he sat on the terrace of a restaurant near his home.

No clear motive has emerged for the killing of Diallo, who was accused of involvement in a 2009 bombing that killed the then army chief and prompted the murder of president Joao Bernardo Vieira in a revenge attack a few hours later.

Diallo was director of military intelligence until April 2010, when he was arrested with other top officers on suspicion of involvement in the 2009 attack.

He was due to be buried later on Tuesday, according to a source close to the family.

The military has denied involvement in the killing while the national elections commission has sought to distance the incident from the ongoing election.

Gomes ahead

Votes are still being tallied from the first round, with provisional results expected this weekend. If no candidate wins outright, a second round of voting will be held between April 22-29

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon commended Sunday's peaceful vote, but appealed to the candidates and their supporters "to refrain from any action that could hamper the electoral process, and to respect the official results".

Early indications put former prime minister Carlos Gomes Junior, 62 in the lead. Gomes has survived several political upheavals including the 2009 double murders, an army mutiny in 2010 and a failed coup bid in December last year.

While unpopular with some in the military for his backing of army reforms, he is seen as the "least worst" candidate by the international community, said Dakar-based analyst Vincent Foucher of the International Crisis Group.

He is followed by ex-president Kumba Yala, who was overthrown in 2003 after a presidency fraught by instability, but retains strong backing from his Balanta ethnic group, the country's largest.

A total of nine candidates contested the vote. Although the election period has been peaceful, some fear violence or even military intervention if the army does not approve of the winning candidate.

Guinea-Bissau achieved independence from Portugal in 1974, the only west African nation to do so through armed combat.

But ever since then, the army and state have remained in constant, often deadly conflict, with the result that no president has ever completed a full term in office. Three have been overthrown in coups and one was assassinated in office in 2009.

A dysfunctional state with a porous coastline and an archipelago where hidden airstrips can be set up, it has also provided fertile ground for Latin American drug lords looking for a hub to ship their cocaine to Europe.

Sunday's election came after the last president, Malam Bacai Sanha, died in January following a long illness.

NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland
The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

At last you are able to see the light. You are able to break through obstacles in an innovative and original way. Visualisation is...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.