See also:
» 08.07.2010 - Guinea-Bissau could head towards new chaos
» 08.06.2010 - Guinea-Bissau PM denies being sacked
» 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

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Politics | Society

Political killing in Bissau raises fear of new conflict

afrol News, 9 January - With elections held in Guinea-Bissau, it has been the imagination of many people that Bissau-Guineans will prefer to settle their old wounds and concentrate on building their nation's weak economy, infrastructure as well as ensure good standard of living. Events in the country speak differently as evidenced by the last week's attack on the home of an ex-navy commander in the capital Bissau.

Mohamadou Lamine Sagnha died on Sunday after he had sustained injuries in the heavy gunfire by unknown assailants. Two of Mr Sagnha's guards were killed in the attack, whose motive was yet to be established. But it is believed that his attackers might have an old score to settle with him.

Mr Sagnha was a close friend of the country's slain Army Chief of Staff, General Ansumane Mane, who appointed him to the post of Navy Commander after they had dislodged President Nino Vieira from power some years back. General Mane was killed by soldiers after he had a row with the ousted regime of former President Kumba Yala.

Before the attack, it was rumoured that the Bissau government was at the brink of trying to implicate Mr Sagnha and other top military officials in an alleged coup plot. These people were accused of trying to pursue the legacies of General Ansumane Mane.

Angered by Mr Sagnha's death, people took to the streets of Bissau to protest, demanding an official explanation. But all they got was severe treating from the military forces, which shot dead two of the demonstrators while leaving behind several others with injuries.

This latest trend of events in one of Africa's poorest and most underdeveloped countries has filled fear among most Bissau-Guineans, including politicians, who believe that people are still bent on settling old scores through violence. Guinea-Bissau has a long history of failing to develop due to political violence and instability.

“The re-occurrence of violence is a sign that the wounds from the power struggle between the late General Ansumane Mane, former President Koumba Yalla and current President are yet to be healed," said a veteran politician, Idrissa Diallo, who leads Guinea-Bissau's Unity Party.

He added that the political climate has succeeded in instilling suspicion among different groups in Bissau. Mr Diallo challenged the Bissau government to put in place governance structures and share power if it wants to avoid the resurfacing of violence and conflict in the country.

The opposition leader also said time had come for the country to convene a national conference principally to foster reconciliation among political leaders, soldiers, civil society and citizens, which he said was the only way to avoid the country from sliding into another war situation.

The Bissau government is yet to issue a statement on the callous attack on the life a man who joined colleagues to fight for the country's independence.

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