AU chief, Jammeh discuss Guinea-Bissau

2011-12-29 11:11

Banjul - African Union chief Jean Ping held talks with Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh in Banjul on Wednesday on the unrest in neighbouring Guinea-Bissau, whose government claims to have foiled a coup.

The chairperson of the AU Commission, the African bloc's executive body, told reporters he had come to seek Jammeh's input on events across the border.

"I was very happy about the advice President Jammeh gave me, about the analysis of the situation which he knows perfectly well and I am going to send some of our technicians in the sub-region to continue to seek advice to have ideas from presidents in the sub-region," he said after the meeting.

Ping reiterated that the situation in Bissau was under control, but "the real problems are still there.

"There are many problems including the reform of the army. We talked about all these issues with them and I now have a better evaluation of the situation not only in Guinea-Bissau but the sub-region in general," he added.

On Monday, Guinea-Bissau's army chief, Antonio Indjai, said loyalist forces had thwarted a coup bid masterminded by the country's navy chief, now under arrest.

One soldier was killed the following night as soldiers combed the seaside capital for suspected coup-plotters and a police commander wanted over the alleged rebellion was shot dead.

Guinea-Bissau's history, since independence from Portugal in 1974, has been studded with coups, mutinies and political murders.

Ping was in Guinea-Bissau on Wednesday for talks with Speaker Raimundo Pereira, the interim head of state in the absence of President Malam Bacai Sanha, undergoing medical care in France.