African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat strongly condemns the violence in Guinea-Bissau, perpetrated by elements of the National Guard, said an AU statement on Tuesday.
He expressed his concern over the dissolution of the West African country’s National Assembly, and called on the country’s government and all stakeholders to prioritize dialogue in the furtherance of peace and to respect the constitution to ensure the preservation of stability and unity of the country.
“The chairperson continues to closely monitor developments in the country and reiterates the African Union’s support to the people and government of Guinea-Bissau,” the statement said.
Clashes erupted between elements of the National Guard and special forces of the Presidential Guard in Bissau, the capital of the country, on Thursday night, and continued Friday as a group of National Guard soldiers attempted to free a detained minister from the judicial police building.
Amid the ongoing situation, President Umaro Sissoco Embalo dissolved the parliament on Monday, after meeting with the Council of State, the president’s consultative body.
According to a presidential decree, the attack by a heavily armed National Guard group on the judicial police building in Bissau last week aimed to “subvert the constitutional order” and resulted in a tragic loss of lives.
Embalo said Saturday that the deadly violence in the capital was an attempted coup with “serious consequences for all those involved” upon his return from Dubai, where he attended a UN climate conference.
This was the second time that Embalo dissolved Guinea-Bissau’s parliament since his assuming office in 2020. In May 2022, he dissolved the parliament due to tensions between the legislative body and the presidency. In February 2022, Guinea-Bissau’s army members staged a failed coup against Embalo.