President Embaló: Foiled Coup or Constitutional Coup?

On 1 December, a shootout between two army factions in Guinea-Bissau – the National Guard and Presidential Palace Battalion – was retrospectively labelled an ‘attempted coup’ by President Umaro Sissoco Embaló.

Members of the National Guard were reportedly trying to extract Finance Minister Souleiman Seidi and Treasury Secretary Antonio Monteiro, who were being questioned on the order of the presidency about the withdrawal of $10 million from state accounts [source].

This incident follows the country’s second foiled coup since February 2022, and also the recent failed coup attempt in Sierra Leone on November 26.

Key Judgement 1. It is highly likely that President Umaro Sissoco Embaló will remain a prime target for putschists over the next 24 months.

Key Judgement 2. It is highly likely that President Embaló will execute an unconstitutional seizure of power to secure his government’s longevity.

Key Judgement 3. It is likely that Guinea-Bissauans will support President Embaló’s removal should he fail to circumvent bureaucratic inefficiencies, state-level corruption, and social deprivation.

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