Guinea-Bissau Officials Announce Investigation, but Deny Coup Attempt
In Guinea-Bissau, dozens of military personnel have been arrested for involvement in Monday's suspected coup attempt, including several high-ranking officials. The government announced on Tuesday that it is looking for others.
The government has created a commission to fully investigate Monday's attacks in the capital of Bissau, which it denies was a coup attempt. Minister of Education Artur Silva says it was merely an attack on the armory.
Silva says the military is pursuing an investigation. After the investigation, he says the government will see who is responsible.
However, the incident has been widely reported as an attempt to overthrow the government in the former Portuguese colony and military sources tell VOA that several political officials will be arrested for their role.
The navy chief of Guinea-Bissau, Rear Admiral Bubo Na Tchuto, has already been arrested as the suspected mastermind, along with former Army chief of staff, Watna Na Lay, and deputy army chief of staff, Cletch Na Ghanh. Some reports suggest the attempt was motivated by a rivalry between Rear Admiral Na Tchuto and the current Army chief, General Antonio Indjai, who did not confirm the allegations.
Indjai says there was a group trying to undermine order. He adds that the situation has been normalized and the army has taken control.
In a country with a long history of coups and assassinations, the government and the military have not always agreed on who is in control. This time, however, the military defended the government and Prime Minister Carlos Gomes, who was the apparent target of the coup attempt.
Gomes says that things are calm now. He says there were some disturbances, but everything has been cleared up and they will continue to work.
President Malam Bacai Sanha came to power in 2009 after the assassination of his predecessor, Joao Bernardo Vieira. While the president recuperates from an undisclosed illness in France, rebel soldiers were seen near the residence of Gomes, who sought refuge in the nearby Angolan embassy.