Bissau: O assassínio de Helder Proença

(SBU) Summary: On June 5, 2009,  in the early morning, Bissau-Guinean security forces killed former Minister of Territorial Administration Baciro Dabo and National Assembly Deputy Helder Proenca. Several other alleged conspirators were taken into custody. The Ministry of Interior's intelligence service issued a statement accusing the three, along with others, of conspiring to launch a coup d'etat in the absence of the Interim President, Prime Minister, Defense Minister and other cabinet officials who are all out of the country. According to the government, Proenca and Dabo were killed while resisting arrest. The Ministry of Interior released the names of six other people wanted in connection with the alleged coup plot. End of summary. 2. (SBU) According to the GOGB, Dabo, a presidential candidate, and Proenca, a dissident of the ruling party, resisted arrest and were killed in separate shoot outs with government security personnel. (FYI - It is unclear if the arresting officials were military or civilian law enforcement. End FYI) Dabo was killed in his home. Proenca was killed in his vehicle, along with his driver and a body guard. The government announced that Robert Ferreira Cacheu, the campaign manager of presidential candidate Malam Bacai; Faustino Imbali, a former prime minister; Marciano Silva Barbeiro, former defense minister; Daniel Gomes, a former fisheries minister; Verissimo Nancassa, a businessman; and Tito Danfa, a musician, were all detained for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government. There are also several unconfirmed reports that former prime minister Imbali was killed after being taken into custody. Other reports indicate he was beaten by government security personnel and is in the hospital. In addition to the people in custody, the government announced that four military officers -- Afonso Te, Sandji Fati, Domigos Indi, and Joao Monteiro -- were wanted for their alleged role in the plot. Attorney General Dr. Louis Manuel Cabral and the Supreme Court President Maria do Ceu Silva Monteiro have reportedly taken refuge in the Angolan Embassy. The government claims that the coup plot was planned in Dakar. 3. (SBU) All of the people killed and detained are regarded as having been close to former President Joao Bernardo Vieira. Dabo, for example was responsible for Vieira's personal security during the 1998 civil war and was accused by the armed forces of having been involved in the plot to kill former Armed Chief of Staff Batista Tagme Na Wai. PolOff has received reports that more people could have been killed in the government's operation, but families are afraid to come forward and say what happened. The Senegalese Reaction ----------------------- 4. (C) Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade convoked the U.S. and French Ambassadors, along with the European Commisstion representative and head of the United Nations Office for West Africa, to discuss the situation in Guinea-Bissau. Wade expressed concern about the situation and disbelief that the Bissau-Guinean interim president and prime minister would both be out the country at the same time. He said he called Jean Ping, the president of the African Union Commission, to say he planned to fly to Bissau to talk with the military and convoke the ministers to resolve the matter. Wade asked Ping to recruit another West African head of state to accompany him on this mission. 5. (C) The French Ambassador suggested in light of the instability and the possibility of continued violence, as well as reports that the coup plot was hatched in Dakar, it might be best for Wade to wait. Wade took the point, but insisted "we" need to do something. He believed that the Gambia might be involved in these events noting that former Navy Chief of Staff Admiral Jose Americo Bubo Na Tchuto (who is under &loose8 house arrest after being accused of plotting a coup against former President Vieira in September 2008) and former president Kumba Yala (another candidate in the upcoming Guinea-Bissau presidential elections) are both in the Gambia at the moment. Wade speculated that Interim Chief of Staff Captain Zamora Induta was colluding with the Gambia to overthrow the civilian government in Guinea-Bissau. The ambassadors cautioned against jumping to conclusions about the Gambia's role and noted that it is unlikely that Induta and Na Tchuto, who loathe one another, would be working together. Wade took the point, but insisted that having Yala and Na Tchuto in the Gambia together could constitute a threat to Bissau-Guinean stability. 7. (C) Comment: Several Bissau-Guineans told PolOff they believed that the government,s allegations of a coup attempt could be true. However, it is difficult to see how these men could have expected to be successful. Viewed as Vieira loyalists, their level of support in the armed forces is likely to have been relatively low, and without strong support in the armed forces any coup attempt would be doomed to failure. Instead, the scenario observers believe is more credible is that Colonel Antonio Indjai, the acting deputy armed forces chief of staff, nephew and protg of Na Wai and commander of the unit whose soldiers are widely believed to have assassinated President Vieira, is settling scores with the people he regards are responsible for the murder of Na Wai. 8. (C) Comment, continued: While the killings will have a direct effect on the June 28 presidential elections, for the time being post believes the elections should remain on schedule. Otherwise, the government will continue to be headed by an interim president who possesses virtually no official authority. BERNICAT 2009

Nenhum comentário: