G-Bissau president sacks army chief behind coup

2014-09-16 21:34
Guinea-Bissau leader Jose Mario Vaz. (File: AFP)

Guinea-Bissau leader Jose Mario Vaz. (File: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Bissau - Guinea-Bissau's President Jose Mario Vaz has sacked army chief General Antonio Indjai, who was behind a 2012 coup and is wanted by the United States for alleged drug trafficking, officials said.

"General Antonio Indjai has been relieved of his duties as chief of general staff," said a presidential decree signed on Monday and made available on Tuesday to AFP.

A successor to Indjai, who has been in charge of the army since May 2011, was due to be named later Tuesday, a source in the president's office said.

In April 2012, the strongman of the small west African country's influential army overthrew the government of then prime minister Carlos Gomes Junior between the first and second rounds of a presidential election.

Gomes, the presidential candidate of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau (PAIGC), was poised to win that vote, according to observers.

Indjai's coup was followed by a democratic transition process in the troubled country, which led to the election of Vaz as head of state in May 2014.

Succession of coups

Vaz defeated Nuno Gomes Nabiam, widely seen as the favoured candidate of a military hierarchy held to be steeped in trafficking drugs between South America and Europe.

In April 2011, Indjai forcibly removed his predecessor as army chief of staff, Jose Zamora Induta, and placed Gomes Junior under arrest for several hours.

The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) considers Guinea-Bissau to be a "narco-state" and in April 13 levelled charges of complicity in narco-terrorism against Indjai.

Other senior officers from the country's armed forces have also been charged with drug trafficking by the United States, including former navy chief Jose Bubo Na Tchuto, who was arrested in a DEA sting and currently awaits trial.

The former Portuguese colony of 1.6 million people has seen a succession of coups since it gained independence in 1974 after a liberation war led by the PAIGC.

In their final report on last May's presidential vote, released last week, an observer mission from the European Union recommended revising the electoral charter to provide for fairer representation of the electorate.

The EU team also proposed that the electoral commission be granted "administrative and budgetary independence".

Read more on:    jose mario vaz  |  guinea-bissau  |  west africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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.


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.