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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Guinea-Bissau Consolidating Military Control?

Guinea-Bissau Army Chief of Staff disarms police, brews apprehension

APA-Bissau (Guinea-Bissau) The Army Chief of Staff in Guinea-Bissau, Gen. Batista Tagme Na Wai on Tuesday, disarmed the police in the capital, Bissau, during a surprise visit to the Internal Affairs Ministry.

Gen. Na Wai gave no explanation for the action which has led the public into believing that something unpleasant could erupt.

Following the army boss’s order the stock piled of weapons in the premises of the internal affairs ministry and in the various police stations in Bissau were collected and transferred to the Army Staff headquarters.

The move was followed by the sacking of Salvador Soares, the Director of Armament and Ammunitions at the Internal Affairs Ministry and replaced by Dety Ifanda, a close relative to Gen. Tagme Na Wai.

The policemen who were guarding the Minister Certorio Biote were also replaced by soldiers upon decision of the Chief of Staff.

Several police officials contacted by APA refused to comment on the move which many consider here as "sensitive."

"This is an extremely sensitive issue", a police officer who begged for anonymity said.

The Rest @ African Press Agency

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