ECOWAS says coup attempt underway in Guinea-Bissau

“ECOWAS condemns the coup attempt and holds the military responsible for the physical integrity of President Umaro Sissoco Embalo and members of his government,” ECOWAS said in a statement.

“ECOWAS asks the military to return to their barracks and maintain a republican posture,” the statement concluded.

The unrest in Guinea-Bissau comes after a military coup rocked Burkina Faso on January 24.
Burkina Faso's military seizes power in a coup, detains president and dissolves government

Mamadou Jao, an academic in Guinea Bissau, told CNN that the streets were quiet across the capital, as worried residents stayed inside awaiting more information.

“Bissau is quiet but we don’t know what is happening near the government place… We are waiting to know more about what is happening,” Jao said.

Jao added that the power was off in homes saying: “The place is in darkness for about three or four hours. It is not something that happens normally.”

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also called for an immediate end to the fighting.

“The Secretary-General is deeply concerned with the news of heavy fighting in Bissau,” said a statement on Tuesday.

Guinea-Bissau’s history has been marked by several military coups since the country gained independence from Portugal in 1974.

These conflicts have ravaged the country’s infrastructure and economy, leaving it among the poorest in the world.

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