Thousands demand Guinea Bissau PM’s resignation

Guinea Bissau Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior is accused of hindering an assassination probe.

Last Updated: Aug 06, 2011, 09:52 AM IST

Bissau: Thousands took to the streets of Bissau on Friday for the third rally in three weeks to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior, who is accused of hindering an assassination probe.

"Carlos, get out", "Carlos to court", chanted protesters, according to a report, during a march to the presidency.

The rally was called by a coalition of 17 opposition parties accusing Gomes Junior of failing to shed light on a spate of high profile political assassinations in 2009. Two earlier protests were held on July 14 and 19.

Ex-president Joao Bernardo Vieira was assassinated by soldiers in what is believed to be a revenge killing shortly after the death of his rival, former Army chief General Batista Tagme Na Waie in March 2009.

Two other high-profile politicians, Baciro Dabo and Helder Proenca, were killed three months later.

Authorities have said the investigation has reached a dead-end due to a lack of evidence.

Opposition parties also want answers on the death of former Army chief Verissimo Correia Seabra in 2004.

Braima Sori Djalo, a leading member of the country`s main opposition party, said that Gomes Junior "knows about all the political assassinations, he is even the main suspect and must thus face justice”.

"We just want the truth to see the light of day, that justice be done," he said.

Gomes Junior has dismissed calls to resign, but said he would be willing to step down if a motion of no-confidence was passed in Parliament.

His African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde holds 67 of the chamber`s 100 seats.

The small west African nation has seen repeated coups since independence from Portugal in 1974, with its powerful Army seen as controlling the country and handing out summary justice.

In April 2010, Gomes Junior was briefly arrested and detained by renegade soldiers threatening to kill him in what was said to be an Army mutiny.

Bureau Report