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» 08.07.2010 - Guinea-Bissau could head towards new chaos
» 24.05.2010 - Guinea-Bissau power struggle building up
» 04.03.2010 - Security reforms crucial for Guinea-Bissau, UN report
» 26.01.2010 - UN anti-crime agency help set up police academy in Guinea-Bissau
» 15.07.2009 - World Bank increases support to Guinea Bissau
» 15.05.2009 - Guinea Bissau gets international support for elections
» 15.04.2009 - Two ex-Presidents in Guinea-Bissau polls
» 04.03.2009 - Bissau’s interim president affirms democratic rule

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Guinea-Bissau PM denies being sacked

Bissau, the capital of Guinea-Bissau

© Colleen Taugher
afrol News, 8 June
- Carlos Gomes Júnior, embattled Prime Minister of Guinea-Bissau, had to deny local press reports that his government had been sacked. The continued power struggle now will get international mediators.

The press in Guinea-Bissau during the weekend reported that Prime Minister Gomes, who barely has been home since the 1 April army mutiny, finally had been sacked by President Malam Bacai Sanhá as a sacrifice to please the country's incalculable military leaders.

Rumours about Mr Gomes' resignation were at first hard to confirm or deny as both the PM and President were abroad. Indeed, PM Gomes and President Sanhá had crisis talks with Cape Verde's President Pedro Pires, who is trying to mediate in the deepening political crisis in neighbouring Guinea-Bissau.

Only on Monday, the Bissau office of the Prime Minister was able to issue a statement dismissing the "false, unfounded and surprising" rumours. President Sanhá's offices in a statement added that talks with Mr Gomes had been "frank and cordial" and that there were no talks of dismissing the PM.

But rumours in Bissau still want it that the government of Mr Gomes is about to fall. The ruling PAIGC party even increased speculations as it issues a statement of solidarity with only President Sanhá, not Mr Gomes. The Prime Minister is also a PAIGC member.

Both President Bacai and Prime Minister Gomes see their positions threatened by the new, self-appointed strongmen in Guinea-Bissau's armed forces, General Antonio Indjai. General Indjai in a 1 April mutiny overthrew the chief of general staff, General Jose Zamora Induta, who is still held in army barracks.

Both civilian leaders have struggled to win at least international support for their legitimate government. So far, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and fellow Portuguese speaking countries have managed to hinder General Indjai from taking more power and thus preventing the fall of Mr Sanhá and Mr Gomes.

But especially PM Gomes is under pressure to resign. The Prime Minister says he has received death threats, which is taken seriously in a country where political assassinations have dominated politics for over a decade.

Cape Verde and the community of Portuguese speaking countries are now taking a lead to strengthen civilian authorities in Guinea-Bissau. The Cape Verdean President has earlier urged the Bissau army to pledge allegiance to their elected President, government and parliament - so far without getting any response.

An extraordinary summit of the community of Portuguese speaking countries to address the situation in Guinea-Bissau is now being planned, Cape Verdean Prime Minister José Maria Neves announced today

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