Guinea-Bissau President Appoints New Security Chiefs Amid Coups In Niger, Gabon

Guinea-Bissau President Umaro Sissoco Embalo has appointed two new security chiefs, General Tomas Djassi and General Horta Inta, in a move seen as a response to recent coups in Niger and Gabon.

POLITICS NIGERIA reports that Djassi was named head of presidential security, while Inta was appointed chief of staff for the president. Both positions have long existed in the government’s organizational structure but have not been filled for several decades.

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The appointments were made during a ceremony at the presidential palace on Monday.

Guinea-Bissau has suffered four military coups since independence in 1974, most recently in 2012. An attempt to overthrow Embalo took place in February 2022.

“It’s true that coups d’état carried out by presidential security officers have become fashionable,” Embalo told reporters on Monday. “But any suspicious movement will be met with an appropriate response.”

Djassi was the head of the national guard before his new appointment, an elite unit of the army whose intervention helped stall the 2022 coup attempt. Inta was head of the central police station in Bissau.

Embalo last month warned that Niger’s coup presented an existential threat to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), saying the deposed Nigerien president Mohamed Bazoum was that country’s only legitimate leader.

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