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Africa

AU chief in Guinea-Bissau after alleged failed coup attempt

media Rear Admiral Jose Americo Bubo Na Tchuto, accused of being behind the coup … AFP

African Union chief Jean Ping arrrived in Guinea-Bissau on Wednesday two days after the army chief claimed to have foiled a coup attempt by the head of the navy.

"The situation is a source of concern for the African Union, that is why I am here, to help the country return to stability," Ping told reporters at the airport.

He was due to meet Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior and Speaker Raimundo Pereira, who is interim head of state while President Malam Bacai Sanha is undergoing medical care in France.

Dossier: 50 years of African independence

On Monday army boss Antonio Indjai, who was accused of being behind a previous coup attempt in 2010, said that his forces had prevented a coup attempt masterminded by navy chief Rear Admiral Admiral Jose Americo Bubo Na Tchuto.

Bubo Na Tchuto, who denies any involvement in the failed putsch, was under arrest Wednesday, apparently after surrendering to Indjai.

Carlos Gomes has ordered the arrest of several members of the PAIGC party, which has the largest number of seats in parliament, who are all said to be his personal enemies.

Troops raided the home of another MP who was accused of harbouring mutineers and found a “veritable arsenal”, according to Interior Minster Fernando Gomes.

The man who led Monday’s attack on an arms depot and the army HQ has been named as Watna Na Laye, a deputy to the army chief of staff. He was wounded and is now in hospital.

Two people are reported to have been killed – a police commander who, according to some accounts, was trying to turn himself in and a police officer implicated in the coup attempt, who is also reported to have been killed while trying to surrender.

 
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