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Joao Bernardo Vieira, President of the small West African nation of Guinea-Bissau, has been shot and killed by a group of “renegade soldiers,” the BBC reports.

The army chief of staff had died under suspicious circumstances just a few hours earlier — the President’s killing is believed to be an act of revenge by military loyalists. However, the army denies that a coup is under way.

Guinea-Bissau has been rocked by a series of coups since gaining independence from Portugal in 1974 — including one led by President Vieira in 1980. The country is one of the poorest in the world, and is dominated by the traffic of cocaine en route to Europe.

The African Union will hold an emergency meeting today to review the situation.

Are you on the ground in Bissau? Know anyone who is, or who is very familiar with Guinea-Bissau politics?

Let us know! We’d love to hear from anyone closer to the source.

Photo by hdptcar (Creative Commons)

World Events


About The Author

Eva Holland

Eva Holland is a freelance writer, Senior Editor of World Hum and a longtime contributor to the Matador community. She lives in Canada’s Yukon Territory and blogs about Alaska and Yukon travel at Travelers North.

  • Claudio88

    This article sheds some more light on an assassination that has rocked the Portuguese-speaking world. Will some people mourn Nino Vieira? I'm sure. But there are also many that won't be losing much sleep over the death of what they consider to have been a very unpopular leader. ” target=”_blank”>” target=”_blank”>… (In portuguese) There is a saying in Portuguese and I'm sure other languages: Quem pelo ferro mata, pelo ferro morre. Roughly translated it means, those who kill by the sword, die by the sword. That seems to be the sentiment in various Portuguese speaking newsites around the web. Guinea Bissau is one of the world's failing states and unfortunately this death confirms it. Hopefully Guineans will be able to put this behind them and move on, but they definitely have their work cut out.

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