Antonio calls for restraint in Guinea-Bissau after failed coup

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for restraint in Guinea-Bissau after a failed coup in the African country…reports Asian Lite News

“The Secretary-General is continuing to closely follow the developments in Guinea-Bissau. He encourages all stakeholders, particularly defense and security forces, to exercise restraint and take all necessary measures to prevent any actions that could undermine peace and stability in Guinea-Bissau,” Xinhua news agency quoted Farhan Haq, the UN chief’s deputy spokesman, as saying to reporters.

Guterres reiterated the need for all actors to respect the country’s democratic institutions, and called on the authorities to ensure that investigations into the attempted coup on Tuesday are carried out in full compliance with human rights standards, said Haq.

Late Tuesday, Guinea-Bissau’s President Umaro Sissoco Embalo announced that the coup had been thwarted and several civilians and soldiers had been arrested.

Embalo said the attackers tried to kill him and his entire cabinet at the government palace.

While the President had said that there were several casualties on both sides, local media reported at least six deaths – four attackers and two guards.

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The attackers were linked to drug trafficking in the country, he said, without providing further details.

Gunfire erupted near government buildings on Tuesday in the capital of the West African nation, where the President was attending a cabinet meeting, the BBC reported.

Guinea-Bissau, with a population of just under two million people, has seen nine coups or attempted coups since 1980.

Over the past two years there have been military takeovers in Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso and Guinea, as well as further east in Sudan.