Seven injured in Guinea-Bissau clashes
At least seven people were injured Friday in clashes between police and supporters of the former ruling party of Guinea-Bissau, according to an AFP journalist.
The incident took place in the capital Bissau at the headquarters of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) opposite the presidential palace.
Police used tear gas and truncheons to disperse the supporters of the PAIGC, which led Guinea-Bissau to independence from Portugal in 1974 and still contests the 2019 election of President Umaro Sissoco Embalo.
“We deplore the events of this evening. The security forces broke into the headquarters (of the PAIGC) where a meeting of the party’s central committee was being held,” party spokesman Joao Bernardo Vieira told AFP.
Party members had gathered to organise a party congress from Saturday to Tuesday but a rival of party leader Domingos Simoes Pereira took legal action to stop it from taking place.
A local court prohibited the party meeting and the rival party figure, Bolom Conte, then called on police to enforce the court ruling.
“The judicial authorities require the PAIGC to respect the decision of the regional court of Bissau,” following the legal action brought by Conte, said Vieira.
Last month, masked gunmen raided the PAIGC headquarters, weeks after a failed coup attempt in the West African country of two million people.
On February 1, heavily armed men attacked government buildings in Bissau while the president was chairing a cabinet meeting. Eleven people were killed in the attack.