(formerly IRIN News) Journalism from the heart of crises

Tensions resolved, Prime Minister says

Guinea-Bissau Prime Minister Caetano Intchama told parliament on Thursday that the tension between the country‘s civil and military authorities had been resolved, LUSA reported.

He informed parliament of the results of a meeting on Tuesday between President Kumba Yala and General Ansumane Mane, the head of the Military Junta that overthrew then president Joao Bernardo Vieira in May 1999, LUSA said.

Tension between the military and the elected government, which took office in February, had increased after navy commander Lamine Sanha, dismissed on 28 April for releasing a Korean boat caught fishing illegally in Guinean waters, refused to accept his dismissal.

At Tuesday’s meeting it was decided that Sanha should leave the navy base and await at home a court ruling on his case. Yala in turn indefinitely postponed the appointment of a new navy chief, LUSA reported.

The tension had prompted national and international NGOs operating in Guinea-Bissau to call on the government, at the end of a three-day meeting, to strive to guarantee stability and respect for human rights and to urge the military to “pursue the path of subordination to the civilian authority”.

The 15 NGOs also urged the government to commit itself further to breaking the impasse in the country and make sure it can function fully. They asked the military leadership to ensure there is training and discipline within the armed forces, to restructure the military and to commit itself to national reconstruction.

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