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Coup Attempt In Guinea-Bissau, ECOWAS Confirms

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The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has called for peace in Guinea-Bissau, as gunfire was heard around the government palace in the capital Bissau on Tuesday, triggering concerns of a coup.

“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.

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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.”

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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.

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

By Tuesday evening, it was unclear whether the assailants had taken control of the compound, and the whereabouts of President Umaro Sissoco Embaló, who took office in 2020, were unknown.

The 15-nation Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS, asked the soldiers in a statement to “return to their barracks” and keep the president safe, echoing the plea it made to military officers in Burkina Faso only eight days earlier.

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If the uprising in Guinea-Bissau is successful, West Africa will have endured five coups in 18 months. Soldiers across the region are toppling elected leaders at the highest rate in four decades, analysts say. The overthrows tend to start with protest movements and a sense the government has failed people — on education, jobs, health care and security.

In Burkina Faso, where soldiers deposed the president Jan. 24, thousands have died in a conflict that has only grown since 2015. They blamed authorities for failing to equip the army in the battle against fighters linked to the Islamic State and al-Qaeda.

In neighboring Mali — where researchers say those insurgencies took hold — military leaders have twice sacked the president since August 2020, initially accusing the government of diverting funds from the army and leaving soldiers vulnerable to slaughter.

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Warfare in vast stretches of West Africa has made it impossible for many to go to the doctor or school. More than2.6 million people have lost their homes, according to the U.N.’s refugee agency.

Guinea-Bissau — a nation of 2 million people and 88 islands — has avoided the insurgency threat.

The country emerged in economic tatters from an 11-year war for freedom from Portugal’s colonial rule. Leaders turned to illicit sources of income, which fueled significant instability. In the past two decades alone, Guinea-Bissau has counted two successful coups, a civil war and a presidential assassination. Just one president has finished a term since the country gained independence in 1974.

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The United Nations has blasted security forces for trafficking cocaine, and Guinea-Bissau developed a reputation as Africa’s first narco-state. Last September, the United States posted a reward of up to $5 million for the former head of the military, Antonio Indjai, calling him “one of the most powerful destabilizing figures” in the country.

Officials accused the former general of clearing smuggling paths for South American drug gangs.

But Indjai continued to split his time between his home in the capital, Bissau, and his cashew farm in the countryside. Analysts said the president feared that handing over the influential figure could spark another mutiny.

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Source: cnn | Washington Post

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Education

President of Seychelles Island requests for Ghanaian teachers

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The President of Seychelles, Wavel Ramkalawan, has requested for more Ghanaian teachers to be sent to his country to help in boosting the education system.

Already, five Ghanaian teachers are in the country and it is believed that their quality output and excellent delivery has culminated in this request. An agreement to that effect is in the offing.

This came to light when Ghana’s Ambassador to Seychelles, Charles Asuako Owiredu presented his accreditation to President Ramkalawan at the State House in Victoria.

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Mr Owiredu, a former Deputy Foreign Minister is Ghana’s High Commissioner to South Africa with accreditations to Seychelles, Mauritius, Lesotho and Eswatini. He is based in Pretoria, South Africa.

Mr Owiredu was given full diplomatic reception including a guard of honour mounted by the military and a red carpet treatment after which he presented the credentials and had a brief interaction with the President.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Owiredu noted that his discussions with President Ramkalawan centred on ways to reinforce the existing bonds between the two nations for the mutual benefit of their peoples.

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He indicated that the meeting with the president went well and the discussions was on how to strengthen the relationship further.

“We already have five Ghanaian teachers here and the president thinks that it will be good if we increase the number of teachers. That will be part of the agreement we are seeking to establish with Seychelles,” Mr Owiredu added.

Mr Owiredu also noted that Seychelles and Ghana have signed five agreements among those a general cooperation agreement, avoidance of double taxation, visa waiver for both countries, and re-exportation of tuna from Seychelles.

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“So far we are doing well. Seychelles is doing well in the tourism sector due to the boldness of the president and the measures taken by the government. I want to take this relationship a notch higher to try and help each other. Ghana can also learn so many things from Seychelles,” Owiredu explained.

The High Commissioner also called on Vice President Ahmed Afif. Later he paid a courtesy call on the Speaker of the National Assembly, Roger Mancienne, Designated Minister Jean-François Ferrari, ministers, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and the Secretary-General of the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Mr Owiredu also met with members of the Ghanaian community living in Seychelles.

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Source: Joy News

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