Guinea-Bissau’s President Assassinated by Army

West-African state is in crisis after Joao Bernardo Vieira is shot to death

Only hours apart, the President and head of the army in Guinea-Bissau have both been killed in revenge-style tit-for-tat murders that have left the country reeling. The military has claimed responsibility for gunning down President Vieira at his palace Monday, citing revenge for the earlier murder of Guinea-Bissau’s army chief. General Tagme Na Waie died in a bomb blast at army headquarters yesterday. A spokesman for the military alleged the President was responsible for the general’s assassination, adding the president was gunned down by soldiers as he tried fleeing his home. The relationship between President Vieira and General Waie has remained hostile after the president was ousted in 1999 in a military coup. He returned from exile in 2004 and was reinstated as president after a 2005 election. This is not the first time attempts have been made on both men’s lives. After the parliamentary elections in November, gunmen attacked the presidential palace which prompted him to hire a unit of personal bodyguards. But his security staff was partly disarmed by the army two months later after its gunmen were accused of shooting at General Na Waie’s convoy, and there are now fears the instability might spread beyond the country amidst the current power vacuum.

Times Online