Monday, June 17, 2024

Guinea-Bissau’s President Umaro Sissoco Embalo Forms New Government Following What Is Termed an ‘Attempted Coup’

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By: Seringe ST Touray

Guinea-Bissau’s President Umaro Sissoco Embalo has formed a new government amid a national crisis, marked by the dissolution of the Assembly and recent clashes labeled as an “attempted coup.”

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At the inauguration of the new head of government, Rui Duarte Barros, on Wednesday, Mr. Embalo emphasized that the relentless battle against corruption should serve as the overarching context for your team’s tasks. He asserted, ‘No one has the right to appropriate public goods for personal gain.’ Mr. Embalo further warned, ‘If suspicions of corruption arise against any of you tomorrow, you will also face legal consequences. All institutions, starting with the presidency’s accounts, must undergo audits. No one should be exempt from the reach of the law.’ These remarks were delivered in Guinea-Bissau Portuguese Creole, a widely spoken language in the former Portuguese colony.”

The 33-member government includes members from both the ruling camp and the opposition PAI-Terra Ranka coalition. The move follows the ousting of the previous head of government, Geraldo João Martins, amid political turmoil.

The dissolution of the National Assembly by President Embalo has raised concerns, and legislative elections are yet to be scheduled in Guinea-Bissau. The recent clashes on December 1 were triggered by the National Guard’s intervention in the Judicial Police’s premises, aiming to extract officials under investigation for a $10 million withdrawal from the State coffers.

The events highlight the deep political divides and historical instability in Guinea-Bissau since gaining independence from Portugal in 1974.

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